by Alex P80 Parks
Agallah releases No Mercy for the Weak on June 22nd. He shared the album when we linked for the interview last week. Here is my review of his latest LP, fully produced by the Don Bishop himself.
Embodying the villain from Batman, Ras Al Ghul, Agallah presents his evil-induced album with sinister intent. The album begins with The Risk. Ag provides a sinister beat with a deep guitar bass-line, eerie synths to spit his usual brand of talking shit, crushing other emcees and all types of plottin’ and schemin’.
“These days I ain’t into rap
I’m into hittin museums and stacking up on artifacts.
Rackin up on Van Goh’s gettin all the Rembrandt’s
Fuck the Baroness with bulletproof implants
Rogue gallery shit, you plead insanity.
Living off the vanity,
No hope for humanity.”
This is one of the better tracks off the album, with a grimy synth sound that he has developed so well as a producer.
A Slug for you (feat. Vinnie Paz) Ag lays an ominous beat with fuzzy background guitar feedback. Pistol Pazzy drops by to stab up the track. His guest verse is as sharp as always:
“I wish a muhfucka would
I hit you with the fist of god
The knife like a skewer
it’ll turn you to a shish kabob
Ice grill, never smile
This is les miserable”
Stay in Your Lane is a piano loop sample with some 80’s guitar in the background with some thumping drums. Lies and Deceit is an atmospheric track with futuristic synths. Supervillain Theme is heavily chopped jazzy sample with a sharp hi-hat and a tambourine flourish.
The Wrong Turn has a subtle soulful sample, soft hi-hat with the vocal soul sample rising as the track progresses. This is a more personal track for Ag. He talks about his pops not being there. He talks about wishing for better days, losing family and close ones. At he end of the first verse he repeats “maybe you can find a way…”
Rogue gallery (feat. Eggroll, Test Loks, Spnoza & Bishop) Is the posse cut of the album, with a chopped sample and machine gun drum-roll. Ag Al Ghul is the Man is a punchy boom bap track with a simple piano loop and a repeating vocal sample. Sinister Talk uses a punchy bass and a woodblock percussion. Reminiscent of 70’s detective movies. Ag deconstructs how dope of an emcee he is and how he lives his life.
Ghul Baby Another standout track, despite incorporating a sample thats been retread a couple times. It’s one of those tension building strings samples that works every time.
Check the track below on Soundcloud
Impersonate My Character Check the video below
Living For Greed a rising orchestral sample and booming muffled drums lays the foundation for one of the better beats of the album. Ag spits:
“I wouldn’t test Al Ghul, you must be out ya mind
I think you outta pocket,
I think you outta line.
The lord of the grime,
And I’m heavy on the slime.
In these tryin times,
My levels reaching the prime.”
Nothing earth-shattering for lyrical content, however, Agallah spits with fiery conviction. According to Agallah, nobody can slow him or stop his shine.
No Mercy For the Weak Check the track below on Soundcloud
Crown Treatment spiraling strings with a vocal sample showcase the least heavy drums on the album. The loop is a nice gem and a departure from the heavy boom of the rest of the album. The balance is key here. Good albums need those drums, but a couple drumless loops adds some variation and breaks it up.
Lazarus Pit is a fast-paced run for your life track as Ag comes firing.
Never seeming to reach the peaks it strives for, the album does satisfy with the solid beats from Ag. He spits some sharp bars as well throughout. Overall the album could benefit from some variation in some of the beat selection and some change in flow and delivery. Many of the beats sound a bit too derivative. That being said, they are well-mixed and provide that pure boom bap that many of the older and throwback heads want in a full dose like this. Ag’s lyrics are never weak, they just seem like he could be doing more with the talent he’s got. Not a disappointing album, but not quite reaching the pinnacle from a man who’s been doing this for over 20 years in HipHop.
Agallah deserves his place as an important emcee and producer from the end of the golden era to now. His production talents should be utilized by more emcees, including up and coming rappers. My thoughts are that Ag ain’t going anywhere. Agallah will be around for another 20 years, at least if he has anything to say about it.