Whenever the ol’ greatest of all-time talks come around, there are always too many albums/artists/groups that aren’t mentioned as frequently as they should be. Organized Konfusion and their sophomore LP “Stress: The Extinction Agenda” are among those constantly overlooked. The South side Queens duo of Prince Poetry and Pharoahe Monch made some of the most visceral music of the 90’s, and too many fans only know Monch for “Simon Says.” Splitting after their third album “The Equinox” in 1997, Monch of course found solo success with his critically acclaimed Rawkus debut, but Prince Po was MIA for years. Now the tables have turned with Monch being rarely seen and rarely heard, and Po finally dropping his solo debut on Lex Records.
Despite their raw hip-hop stylings as a duo, Monch dropped a solo record that was accessible to all comers, and now Prince Po has done the same. With “The Slickness” packing near wall-to-wall production from Madlib, J-Zone and Dangermouse the album slides seamlessly from party jams to headphone music. The intro “Hello” is a bit of a misstep with Jel’s sleepy beat and Po’s mish-mash lyrics and horrid hook. Not to fear, Po and Madlib bang the next one out of the park (“Too Much”) and Danger Mouse continues to prove his merits with the silky “Love Thang.” Po and DM’s chemistry is equally impressive on the jazzy “Fall Back.” The always entertaining supervillain DOOM comes through to bless DM’s other excellent contribution (“Social Distortion”), and him and Po sound right at home alongside one another.Richard X takes Po to the dance floor with the electric “Hold Dat” featuring Jemini and Rell. Funny enough, he makes a “Club Remix” of the very same song, only this one is awful. It is overly synthesized and sounds like a bad video game score.
Not to be outdone is the always wacky production of J-Zone. The Zone’s signature sound fuels both “It’s Goin Down” and the hypnotic “Meet Me At The Bar” featuring J-Ro and Zone. Though it is really Madlib who steals the show here, connecting on all cylinders no matter what style he goes with. The title track “The Slickness” is just that, the slickness. Then we get another club-ready track from the bombshelter, the amped “Bump Bump” featuring Raekwon.
You may have noticed I talked about the production values much more than Prince Po, and that is for good reason. Po was largely outshone by his production, which isn’t a knock to him, but a tribute to the beat men. “Grown Ass Man,” one of two self-produced tracks, is actually when he shines the brightest on the mic. The other track he produced (“Be Easy”), is pretty fucking good too as Po has no problem holding down the boards again. At just 13 tracks, this album is short and very sweet. Few albums can capture both sides of the field in a manner that works, and Po has done that and then some. Lots of fun and lots of replay value.