By Ian Charles
“Following the events of “Bladesylvania“! Shyne Mosley is back, manifested & ready for war alongside his doppelganger “Dart Vader”. His path to becoming Red Kobrah won’t be an easy one.” –Ralphiie Reese
In recent years the rap crew known as The Dart Unit (TDU) have created quite a following with members across North America. Philly’s Ralphiie Reese (aka Dart Vader aka Kount Dartula) has taken no shorts during this pandemic to craft his 2020 album Shyne Mosley III. What really stands out on this latest release is Ralphiie’s acquired skills on the beats, as he shows some versatility in his samples and arrangements.
The “(Opening)” sets the record straight with words on how it’s about to go down. Taking a cruise through Philadelphia, we enter “Germantown & Chelten.” Ralphiie Reese provides a thumping loop as Kount Dartula slings bars on the night prowl down W Chelten Ave, rhyming:
“Targeting niggas it’s like a squad car on Lockhart with juice unknown they call me Quasar, comfy when I come under attack, special power to crash back, Kuwait you then I bomb on the track, cranials cracked in shacks, niggas die when I come through town, devastation for the win of my crown…”
The vocal and soulful samples are chopped exquisitely by Reese to the point they were on repeat before moving to the next dart. Ralphiie continues the chopped samples on “Who!?! (B.U.T Me)” followed by “Tha Mind, Body & Soul Tape” and “Spirituality.” Another audio delight comes from the undeniable influence the Wu-Tang Clan have in Hip Hop music from emcees/producers. It’s evident in today’s wave of artists, including Ralphiie Reese who doesn’t hide being a huge Wu fan (check the album cover artwork). “Butterfly Needlez VII” continues the Clan’s influence as the rhyme czar, Dart Vader lays waste, spitting:
“…Blade tossing, you don’t want me in an open space, you getting erased, obliterated to a billion, a million leg fractures…”
Butterfly Needlez VII is the only production not handled by the Philly producer/emcee. TDU’s own Professor950 aka Prod9 (reppin’ Newark, Delaware) marvelously executes the beat. Dart Unit member, Vic E. Fontaine is a staple on TDU projects with her defining words. Here she graces a few tracks with her recognizably soothing voice, perfect for radio with her signature statement, “Praise The Dart Unit” once again aptly placed. The straight talk, no non-sense words come courtesy of Dr. Umar on “Holy Water” as the only other guest feature.
Let it be known there is a reason the man of many aliases and personas creates wizardry on the boards while lyrically complimenting his own production. Given the anticipation of the album since announced, one listen will distinguish this as a carefully crafted release. Ralphiie Reese keeps his darts sharp and precise for heads throughout Shyne Mosley III. In the words of the man himself, “Judge Wisely, All Praises Due.”
CD & Digital are available here: