Prolyphic & Reanimator
The Ugly Truth


4.0
excellent

Review

by Nick Butler EMERITUS
December 14th, 2008 | 35 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A real grower, and a top 10 candidate for 2008.

No album grew on me as insidiously as this one did this year.

When this record first really hit me, I'd just started a sales job. Door-to-door sales, no less, selling Sky television on the behalf of a company infamous all over the internet for being just about the worst company in the world to work for. I was doing a 70+ hour week, getting paid about only £40 ($70) a week more than somebody doing half the hours on minimum wage, getting doors slammed in my face and random items thrown at me on a daily basis, and exhausting myself to the point where I had no time for any kind of social life, even on with my fiancee who I lived with. The Ugly Truth was a great album for that point in time because it motivated me, it got my blood pumping, it got me ready to face anything. Typically that's a role hip-hop fills in my life anyway (every exam I sat, from AS levels right up to my degree finals, was immediately preceded by Eric B & Rakim's "I Ain't No Joke"), but this was a particularly special instance. It takes a lot to keep you going for that long, against that much animosity, and The Ugly Truth managed it.

When it hit me hard for the second time, I was about the leave that same job. I was fainting from exhaustion while out working, in places I'd never visited before. I was being emotionally blackmailed by my boss to stop me leaving or raising concerns about the conditions under which I was working. My fiancee was now threatening to leave me because she never saw me. Her interfering best friend couldn't stop criticizing me for not taking a job that was more stable, as if there were any going. I hated just about everything around me. The Ugly Truth then became even more pertinent. I mean, here's a man rapping about burning Gap sweaters in Common's name because everything he said meant nothing when he put on them chains. Here's a man telling Nas he's got a nerve to say hip-hop's dead when he makes a living off his fans who think he understands them. Here's a man who spits at frantic speed, then immediately follows it with the line 'I hate when crowds are easily impressed by double-time'. Prolyphic isn't somebody taking shots at the big names because he can, or somebody taking shots at everyone else in the underground because he's better, or somebody attacking sacred cows to make a point - he's somebody doing all three, fighting an impossible battle on all fronts because it's all he feels he can do. He's not the most venomous rapper I've heard, but he might be the most infectious with it. There were two days when I was out working when I disappeared for an hour and a half just to sit on a park bench and listen to this record. One of those days, it rained. It was perfect.

That pretty much sums up why The Ugly Truth is a genre classic. It's an album capable of moulding itself to any bad situation you might find yourself in - it can be motivational and make you defiant, and at the same time it can give you the room to wallow and seethe with anger. On a more technical level, Reanimator's largely melancholy, guitar-heavy production makes a refreshing change from most things you could compare this to, and remains fresh throughout, and Prolyphic's flow is often outstanding. But it's the feeling this album achieves and maintains, the one of total, unrelenting anger and frustration that somehow still manages to completely avoid the kind of self-hatred and self-pitying that someone like Eminem sometimes fell into at his peak. At 15 tracks, this is one of the few hip-hop albums that I'd actually suggest could be longer than it actually is, just so long as any extra tracks were as pissed-off and inspired as the likes of "Way That I See It", "The Ugly Truth", "On The Side", "Sleeping Dogs Lie", "Born Alone".....and the rest.

I mean, basically it's a great album that's helped me through a fairly crappy year, and I don't think I'm the only one who can say that. If I am, then it's just a symptom of the fact that more people need to hear this.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Iai
Emeritus
December 14th 2008


3553 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I can't believe that nobody had reviewed this yet.

Kind of a rushed review I only posted so I can link to something in my end of year feature but whatevs.

Willie
Moderator
December 14th 2008


16133 Comments


Nice review. Nice intro, I like the setup.This Message Edited On 12.14.08

Digging: Kenn Nardi - Dancing With the Past

Iai
Emeritus
December 14th 2008


3553 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol. Apologies to iarescientists, Lewis, Clash, and Eliminator - somehow the act of posting this has deleted your ratings.

plane
Staff Reviewer
December 14th 2008


6099 Comments


There was a point this summer where I would have agreed with this review, which is wonderful.

Willie
Moderator
December 14th 2008


16133 Comments


lol. Apologies to iarescientists, Lewis, Clash, and Eliminator - somehow the act of posting this has deleted your
ratings.
It didn't... somehow your review isn't linked to the album page. It's probably the same reason that the artwork and
tracklist didn't show up either.

http://www.sputnikmusic.com/bands.php?bandid=10244

This Message Edited On 12.14.08

Iai
Emeritus
December 14th 2008


3553 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh, okay then. This is a new kind of ampersand fail!

Willie
Moderator
December 14th 2008


16133 Comments


Well, someone fixed it.

plane
Staff Reviewer
December 14th 2008


6099 Comments


If the vocals weren't so far under the mix I think this could retain its emotional punch. They need more emphasis, kind of flat otherwise.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
December 14th 2008


3996 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Albums pretty boring.

pixiesfanyo
December 14th 2008


1223 Comments


i agree with nick, but it is definitely a three.

there isn't really anything amazing here, its just completely solid.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
December 14th 2008


3996 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

It's like two guys heard the first three minutes of "Building Steam With a Grain of Sand" and thought this would be sick if we made it more like Jedi Mind Tricks in all possible ways. What if we put crackling vinyl on every track?

pixiesfanyo
December 14th 2008


1223 Comments


or once again. it sounds like an anticon record.

fireaboveicebelow
December 14th 2008


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'll be getting this now, awesome review

iarescientists
December 14th 2008


5863 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fucking finally

fireaboveicebelow
December 14th 2008


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this feels like it needs to sink in for a bit before I make a decision

joshuatree
Emeritus
December 14th 2008


3742 Comments


Reviews reminded me that I really need to get this


AtavanHalen
December 15th 2008


17927 Comments


Review's a little too personal, but you've made me really want to listen to this. So mission: accomplished, I suppose.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
December 15th 2008


4951 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

im interested in how your year ended. did iai quit his job? did iai stay with his girl? cliffhanger dude, not effing cool.

Thor
December 15th 2008


10202 Comments


"Building Steam With a Grain of Sand"

Salt*

fireaboveicebelow
December 15th 2008


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is the first hip hop album I've listened to that is hard to understand, but I definitely enjoy this a lot, rating will go up eventually



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