"I like Termanology because
he dedicates his rhyming ability with the beats and these rappers nowadays have
no clue, or respect for this culture..." - DJ Premier
I could end the review with
just that BUT I'll continue on my way. Reppin' the Puerto Rican community proudly,
Termanology has been practicing his
craft since he was 15 years old (eight years in the making. If you're asking
how old Term is, get back in
school!). The emcee out of the 978 (just north of Boston) has spent the past
two years grinding, collabing with acts ranging from DJ
Premier and Royce Da 5'9"
to Mobb Deep and Guru, as well as performing with the
likes of Kool G. Rap, Wu-Tang, Fabolous, 50 Cent, Saigon and more. Dude's putting in work
to say the least.
On top of his indie album
with producer DC (Out the Gate), which was released
January 2006, Hood Politics IV: Show and
Prove marks Term's fourth
mixtape in the past year and a half. It's 25 tracks deep with features from Papoose, Royce Da 5'9", Lil Fame
(of M.O.P.), Trife Da God, as well as members from his ST crew, and production coming from the legendary DJ Premier, Roc Raida, MoSS, J. Cardim, Mr. Attic, Statik Selektah and
DC. The fourth edition in Term's Hood Politics series remains dope in terms of beats and lyricism,
but it lacks in structure and an overall sense of congruity. It leaves the
listener lost and wishing the tape was stripped of a few tracks so it would be
If you're reading this
review, it either means you've been a fan of Term's for a while or you probably heard the Premo-produced street
banger "Watch How It Go Down" and thought, "damn,
now THIS cat has got talent." And yes, that thought is correct - good job.
Just one listen to the aforementioned track and you can't front Termanology. He has the potential to be
someone very special in this game. Staying on the positive side of things: you
have the clouded, mysterious Roc Raida-produced
"100 Jewels" as well as the Mighty Sam
McClain-assisted "Far Away" that has Term
acknowledging all of his people that are locked up. The soulful, old school meets
new school on the Wu-Tang-influenced
"Think It Over," which has Term and Trife Da God displaying their street
knowledge on this very impressive joint. J.
Cardim produces his ass off on "H.U.S.T.L.E.R." and "That's Life," The
latter being one of the best tracks off the mixtape. The positive message, the
melodic vocals and the realness all tie in so well.
Term lets a few things known that so many people seem to forget with his
statement at the end, "Shit is real man,
I'm on commercial radio every week nigga, I'm on B.E.T. I got CD's in the store. Guess what? I'm still fuckin broke!
So don't think you gon get up in this rap shit and start making millions
overnight. It takes a lot of hard work. Shit is real ... that's life."
Too many times while
listening to the mixtape, I couldn't help but feel stuck and unaware of which
direction the next track is going to lead. One second, Termanology's rapping about the dull subjects of gangbanging and
gun use ("Got Em," "79 Murders") and the next he's speaking to his daughter about
how he wants her to grow up and be just like daddy ("Just Like Me"). The
horrible E3 -featured "Winter" could
have easily been left off, as well as the typical, bland "Blow The Horns." "Watch
Your Back" is just a rehashed Classified
joint ("Unexplainable Hunger"). It even has Royce Da 5'9" spitting the exact same verse. But then again, I
guess it is just a mixtape and not an album.
Featured in the XXL's
"Show and Prove" (Sept. 2006) and The Source's "Unsigned Hype" column
(Oct. 2005), Term has turned some
heads, and for good reason. You might not see the full potential with this
mixtape alone, but be sure to pick up all his previous material and keep your
ear to the streets as Term ain't
going nowhere anytime soon. He might not be the "holy resurrection of Pun" but then again, who could be? One
thing is for sure, the man has the talent to be whatever he wants to be.