Termanology is no stranger to finding obstacles on his home turf in the Boston area to gain recognition. But through perseverance and collaborating on songs and albums with countless legendary producers and emcees from Hip Hop’s pantheon like DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Large Professor, Easy Mo Bee, Buckwild, Lil Fame of M.O.P., and Sean Price, Term has earned his spot as one of the biggest names to emerge from the Boston hip hop scene within the past ten years.
On Shut Up And Rap, the self-proclaimed “Rap Robin Hood” hailing from Lawrence, Massachusetts makes his initiatives known: to aide new Boston area rap artists; remind his audience of musical roots in street-core lyricism; basking in eighties and nineties-era nostalgia (“Feeling like Kane in ‘87, the greatest ever/Grew up in the ‘90s, to me that was the greatest era,” acknowledging influences from KRS-One stating “Knowledge reigns supreme-ology, The new ‘Teacha’” on Get Away), and detailing his thoughts on the young emcees entering the rap industry, musing to straightforward boom-bap production blasts and balance of occasional melodic R&B hooks. The sixteen-track LP boasts features guest emcees on all but one track for Termanology’s purpose as a community organizer, helping bring some shine to his fellow Boston area artists including renowned battle emcee Chilla Jones, newcomers Ea$y Money, Dutch ReBelle, Michael Christmas, and underground circuit stalwarts Slaine and Reks.
For the album’s first song, Termanology connects with his New York City counterparts Inspectah Deck, Chris Rivers, H Blanco for a lyrical onslaught from on “The War Begins.” This tone-setter gives the understanding to look elsewhere than his effort if you want the popular trap records that are currently flooding the Rap and Billboard charts.
The album’s first single shows a bit of Termanology’s maturity with the R&B-oriented “I Fucks With You,” featuring Cyrus Desheild and the reemergence of R&B songstress Lumidee (remember her club banger “Uh Oh” from 2003?). She unexpectedly does not sing the song’s hook, but rather spits a hot verse to offer a female’s take on a stagnant romantic relationship that Term answers in his masculine take on the situation in his rhymes. (Think Black Thought and Eve’s exchange on The Roots classic song “You Got Me”)
Other standout cuts from the album are the self-reflective and wishful “Get Away,” (featuring Brooklyn heavyweights Skyzoo and Torae, and Termanology’s fellow Lawrence bredren Reks), and the gritty “Depths of Hell” with Slaine’s gravel-voiced lyrical barbs accompanying upstart Artisin and Termanology delivering their battle rap prowess to make their competition recognize their brand of realness.
One notable person who Termanalogy did not have for the majority of the new LP was his frequent collaborator and Showoff Records label head honcho, producer/deejay Statik Selektah. Termanology’s 1982 album series cohort only contributed scratches on business cut “Streetwise” and co-produced one of the album’s bonus cuts “El Wave” with The Alchemist. Instead, Termanology enlisted newcomer Boston-based producer Billy Loman as the sound architect for the LP. The album is has its moments of reflection on Termanology’s life in the industry, showing his love for his collaborators and hometown, and some filler songs that may make you fast-forward at times, but overall it’s a well-executed effort to make his haters and fans alike shut up and listen.