If you know me, which is probably not the case, you know that 99% of the
time I truthfully could not give a rats ass about the mixtape circuit or the billions
of rappers who supposdely ‘got next’. With the exception of Mick Boogie
and Statik Selektah who actually put some focused energy into
putting these discs together, they just always seem to be so generic. Case in
point, Termanology’s 50 Bodies dropped on the scene
several months ago and I had no idea. I wish I hadn’t slept though because this
is one of the rare times where I was excited to get my hands on a mixtape.
At a time where the East Coast is likely the bottom dweller of the rap
world, I don’t see how any true fans of New York Hip Hop can have anything but
love for Massachusetts’ own Termanology. When every
non-legendary emcee is running to the south to jack their sound because it’s dominating
right now, Term falls back and sticks to his roots and
breathes new life into what is and was the Mecca of Hip Hop. Where Fat
Joe recruits the likes of DJ Khaled and Scott
Storch while claiming to bring back New York, Term rolls
with the likes of DJ Premier and Marley Marl
and actually reps his coast. So in this light we have the
50 Bodies mixtape pieced together with the help of Tony Touch,
Statik Selektah and DJ Deadeye.
The theme here is simple (and a nice spin on Tony Touch‘s 50
Emcees tapes): 50 verses over 50 beats, no hooks or cohesive stories or
sketches, and no underlying theme other than to show off the ridiculous lyrical
skill Termanology brings to the table. This man is the
absolute truth on the mic. With razor sharp punches and an uncanny ability to
switch up flows to dance around a beat whether it’s hard and aggressive or
smooth and melodic, it’s tough to find an emcee with a sharper tongue spitting
more potent rhymes than Term. The last artist to impress me
this much in terms of raw lyrical prowess was some guy Lupe or
something and before that, this Brother Ali dude from
Minnesota. I’m not sure, but I think they both got XXXXX ratings a while back.
Before I start to drift into biased east coast dickriding territory, I
assure you that this, after all the skill and potency, is still just a mixtape.
So like all mixtapes there’s not a whole lot of direction. Ironically though,
the biggest flaw in the record is also one of its strong points. 50 ill verses
on 50 ill beats, one after another. It’s dope to play in the background while
you’re on your grind, but to give this a focused listen to in a single sitting
is almost unbearable. 80 minutes of fire without a hook or a sketch to take a
breath and 50 Bodies honestly gets exhausting. Termanology’s
rhymes are already hard as hell to keep on pace with, and trying to do this for
over an hour without rest is definitely no easy task.
The truth is that despite being one of the more talented writers I can think
of dead or alive, it’s likely that Term will
never get the backing needed to truly breakout in the industry these days. To
be blunt, as big of a fan of his that I am, I still haven’t been convinced that
he has the personality or charisma to really blow up. I’d hate to call someone
as killer as Term ‘just another mixtape rapper’ but I might
have to. Hopefully I’m wrong.