There is really nothing better than listening to an album with no expectations and being blown away. Despite my being a fellow Canadian, and Classified being already 7 albums deep, I had never heard of him. I had no idea how dope “Trial & Error” was going to be. Born and bred in Nova Scotia, Classified takes on the role of both emcee and producer on this album. He does a formidable job of both, particularly in the way of the beats.
Unfairly or not, underground hip hop often gets labeled as having bleak beats unsuitable for shaking your ass. Class’ beats are unmistakably driven by pure hip-hop, but he brings some bass lines that are sure to get you out of your seat. Both “Gossip” and “Got Luv” have thick, grooving bass lines that are just like DJ Quik – way 2 fonky. Lead single “Heavy Artillery” may be a little darker, but it produces plenty of neck-snapping. The posse cut featuring Maestro, DL Incognito and Eternia, likely the album’s finest moment, is reminiscent of Rob The Viking with it’s crisp drums and eerie guitar licks.
Classified’s stand out performance on the mic is unquestionably his story of friendship on “Confused Confrontations.” A song which packs an equally dope flute-driven beat and well-selected vocal sample for the chorus. Speaking of vocal samples, Class outdoes himself on “On Tha Brink.” The title track proves he can flow with a little bounce in his step, not to mention produce a bouncy beat using an acoustic guitar.
Classified is not the best emcee out there, and “Trial & Error” is not the best album. Gotdamn, it doesn’t mean both aren’t hella fresh. If you have been sleeping through Class much like myself, wake up, listen, and you’ll know what I am raving about. There is no reason “Trial & Error” shouldn’t go down as one of Canada’s best albums. On the real, fuck geography. Ill beats are ill beats, and nice rhymes are nice rhymes. Classified has got both, period.