Cage
Hell's Winter


3.0
good

Review

by newnuances USER (1 Reviews)
January 27th, 2009 | 13 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Please Cage, no more "emo" rap!!!

Chris Palko aka Cage Kennylz aka Cage has had a name in Hip-Hop since his days with "Fondle 'Em Records." Since these days Cage has made a name for himself and his lyrics with his gritty and raw storytelling ability. This explains the beef he had with fellow rapper Eminem in his early career, saying that the emcee stole his style. After "Clockwork Orange" and "Radiohead" dropped in the early 90's Cage showed that he was for real, not just some white man in a black man's game.

Fast forward to August, 6 2002 Cage released his debut album "Movies for the Blind." The album takes place in a neo-fantasy world, totally built in Chris' imagination and influenced by his experience in a mental hospital, and the numerous drugs he has done most notably PCP. "Hell's Winter" is Cage growing up as an emcee. The shock value that was in "Movies for the Blind" is nowhere present in "Hell's Winter." Instead of insanity for the sake of insanity, Cage has chosen to write about the problems facing him today. Unfortunately this doesn't work quite as well. It seems that Cage is trying to be something he's not on this album, almost trying to convey a message that he himself isn't sure of. Not only changing his style lyrically, Cage changed his style physically, trading high-tops and a North Face for straightened black hair and tight pants. This style switch is most notable in the song Scenester, the problems first start with the poppy and melodramatic beat which is so far from the normal fast paced and hectic style we normally see cage rhyme too. The lyrics don't get much better as he basically describes an infatuation with the type of girl's he sees at his concerts. The album reaches a low point with the track, Subtle Art Of The Breakup Song. Again Cage trades his potent and controversial style, for something that can only be described as corny and suitable for MTV.

There are some positives to this album as demonstrated by the song Too Heavy For Cherubs. The eerie guitar rifts perfectly blend with Cage's erratic and dark description of helping his father shoot up heroin when he was a child. There is no question of Cage's writing ability on this album, demonstrated by the verse: A cold day in hell/ I feel good/ At least I feel as good/ As real feels/ If real even feels good/ I think back to being a kid and getting my ass kicked/ And when I sold my soul to the devil to make me rap SICK! Left It To Us is also a highlight on the CD as it features Cage's supergroup "The Weathermen." The chemistry between all these emcees is great and is a demonstration of battle rap at it's best. Camu Tao (RIP), Yak Ballz, El-P, and Aesop Rock perfectly blend there styles together along with Cage to create a smooth but eccentric sound.

Don't get me wrong. I do appreciate this album and believe that it is worth listening to for the most part. I also believe that progression as an artist is extremely important, especially in Hip-Hop where your own unique style is everything. I just don't necessarily agree with Cage's decision to turn away from the raw lyrical approach he used in his early years. Chaos is beauty and the more Cage tries to shy away from his maniacal and drug-ladden persona, the more watered down and worse his albums will become.


user ratings (111)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Merkaba33
January 27th 2009


702 Comments


really good for a first. i don't listen to hip-hop so i won't comment further.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
January 28th 2009


4957 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

emo rap?

bastard
January 28th 2009


3435 Comments


lulzy summary

sinnersparadice
January 29th 2009


22 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think this is Cage's most consistent album to date.

And it's not "emo".

jrowa001
January 30th 2009


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol. this is a really good album

DisNig
September 1st 2010


3 Comments


Agent Orange. Have you heard his interviews? MFTB was being someone he wasn't.

Paul H.
September 22nd 2010


56 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

this album is classic to me

chesse13
August 29th 2011


4301 Comments


im really liking the song with daryl

daIceman
November 21st 2011


412 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

definitive jux artists never stop impressed me

sixdegrees
October 19th 2012


17731 Comments


dumb review

Digging: Satomimagae - Koko

FuncrusherPlus1
August 5th 2013


116 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think a lot more highly of this album why do ignorant people consider highly personal and meaningful rappers to be "emo rap", that's just silly. Great production, amazing lyricism, only 1 or two filler tracks and the rest is just superb.

DikkoZinner
August 5th 2013


3403 Comments


Love that nighthawks album with Cage & Camu tao

Butkuiss
November 4th 2013


4253 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Shoot Frank is one of the best hip-hop songs of the 00s tho.



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