Binary Star
Masters of the Universe


4.5
superb

Review

by Kris Williams USER (1 Reviews)
March 1st, 2009 | 60 replies


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Regardless of your taste in music, this album is great.

From Pontiac, Michigan comes Binary Star, a Hip-Hop group consisting of two members that met in prison, after being charged with armed robbery. One Be Lo, and Senim Silla are the two men that make up the group. Their lyrics contain more substance than your typical money, bitches and bling scenario. Out of the three main things that make Hip-Hop what it is, this album strikes one hundred percent. From the depth of their message, flow of the voice, or well produced audio backtracks, this album delivers on all fronts.

For the most part, the album has samples to start most of the tracks, and the samples give you a feel for what the track is going to be about. Honest Expression has a man explaining that expressing yourself honestly is harder than putting on a show, which in most cases are true. In some instances samples in the beginning of a track can lower the value of the album, but not in this case. Consistency holds up the idea strongly, since they have reasons to be there and are all over the album.

One part of album of course is the rhyme flow. Mainly their flow consists of a really smooth way of talking, and they rarely ever leave the monotone sound. Overall the songs sound like spoken word over a beat and with a little more rhythm. The way they emphasize a statement or a word is by doubling over the voices between the two MC’s which work very well with their beat style. One Be Lo has more of a higher pitched voice, which is complemented by Senim’s lower more baritone sounding voice.

Lyrics are the highlight of the album, for the imagination is remarkable. The primary concept of the album is for the listener to understand that they’re not another Hip-Hop group for flashing their big rims, or insisting that they’re hard in any manner. However, there still is plenty of other songs about entirely different topics, such as, I Know Why The Cage Bird Sings. The track describes the evolution they took while spending their nights and days in prison. The flow and poetic edge give the song a perfect and full feeling. Another highlight track to display this album’s diversity is, The Evolution of Man which typically can be described as a song devoted to love. It flows between One Be Lo and Brenda J. The two voices work perfectly together throughout the entirety of the song, they flow seamlessly with amazing poetry and compassion. The content of their lyrics separates them from other Hip Hop artists by cradling much more content and depth. The Evolution of Man demonstrates their diverse writing style by shifting the albums concept into an entirely different realm. At a glance, this album could be thrown off as another Hip-Hop album, but it’s the lyrics which hold it much higher than competition.

Most of the albums beats were produced Decompozed except for a few tracks including, Reality Check, Binary Shuffle, Onemanarmy, and The KGB. The beats work hand in hand with the flow of the MC’s, rather perfectly since both the beat and the voices are smooth and calm. There are some beats that deliver more of a punch and upbeat tone such as, Binary Shuffle which sounds like an late 80’s Hip-Hop beat, think Eazy-Duz-It. However most of the tracks sound a little jazzy, slow jazz mixed with the Hip-Hop beat. In the track, Glen Close, it starts with a relaxed jazz beat, but about half way into it, the beat switches up to a faster and more diverse sound. Most of the tracks aren’t by any means special for the beat, but they’re definitely good. The tracks are carried by the MC’s mainly, however in some spots scattered throughout the album you’re greeted by some DJ scratching and breaks in the beat. Although mainly the tracks are carried by the MC, the beat constantly is undergoing changes that work perfectly with the overall calmness of the album. For a good example listen to track, New Hip Hop.


Regardless of your taste in music, this album is great. Its diversity spreads its fashion into everyone’s appetite, with awesome lyricism and interesting beats. The story alone of how this group was formed is interesting, and to multiply that they’ve created a fantastic album with plenty to dig out of. Likewise with all of conscious Hip-Hop records, the lyrics are the best quality and they work so well to describing what idea they’d like to promote. Binary Star is a Hip-Hop group to be reckoned with.


user ratings (163)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
Bulldog (5)
Even if the rest of the world does not share that, divine perspective, we cannot help being fascinat...


Comments:Add a Comment 
absurdismwine
February 14th 2009


304 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Eh, I didn't explain the music that well...

Hyperbore
February 15th 2009


856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

True. Needs more description of what the album IS, not how it compares to other music in the genre. Also, the first paragraph is pretty unnecessary - it describes pretty much all conscious hip-hop.

Still, it's nice to see a review finally up for this. Binary Star is one of the few groups that really transforms rap into something more than a cool way to express yourself.This Message Edited On 02.14.09

illmitch
February 15th 2009


5429 Comments


this is my obligatory post defending mainstream rap. still this looks good, ill probably peep a couple of tracks.

your review is mostly good, but it could definitely use some work. instead of telling me what the songs are about or saying that the rappers flow, show me an example of how they flow. id also appreciate more information about what the beats are like.

absurdismwine
February 15th 2009


304 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'll definitely make some touch ups, thanks for the feedback.

MassiveAttack
February 15th 2009


2688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This album is a true diamond in the rough. The albums tends to wear off in time though, still a great album.

absurdismwine
February 15th 2009


304 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I made a few touch-ups, so hopefully it's a bit more clear on the description end.


LF96
February 15th 2009


97 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, pretty good review.

Just a few little comments though, at the time this album was made One Be Lo was still going by the name of Onemanarmy. You could maybe also tell something about the chaos that came upon releasing this album, as in the tracks being in the wrong order (this album is mostly the same as Waterworld, but that one has a completely wrong track order) and the group never getting any money for it. They also don't exist as a group anymore, far as I know, both of the emcees have been releasing solo albums.

absurdismwine
February 15th 2009


304 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah I know Silla released an album, but I had no idea about the track order. I thought it was funky since my copy is much different than this tracklist and the one on Wiki.

This Message Edited On 02.15.09

doubletake
February 15th 2009


6 Comments


One.Be.Lo is one talented dude, S.O.N.O.G.R.A.M is one of my favorite CD's. I haven't gotten around to listening to this album but "Reality Check" is easily one of the top 10 hip hop songs I've ever heard.

"And Rodney King ain't never felt a beat like this"

fireaboveicebelow
February 15th 2009


6837 Comments


I met these guys at a local gig once, so I'll get this

absurdismwine
February 15th 2009


304 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

wait who did you meet, and when?

drapht00
February 16th 2009


14 Comments


I met One.Be.Lo at a Brother Ali show. It was crazy. He played his beats off of his laptop and then rapped, then would go select the next beat. Sick show. Then he came and played pool with us before Brother Ali went on.

I love this album. The samples at the beginning of the songs get old after having listened to it for almost 10 years now (I can't believe it's been that long...). I had to look for this album for like a month at every store I could find back then. God bless School Kid Records in Raleigh, NC.This Message Edited On 02.16.09

absurdismwine
February 16th 2009


304 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I need to start listening to Brother Ali, I hear he's awesome. I could understand the samples getting old, they're starting to wear thin on me too, and it has been nowhere near 10 years haha. This Message Edited On 02.16.09

illmitch
February 16th 2009


5429 Comments


Not too much of a fan of Brother Ali. I saw the Hip Hop Live tour - last year it was Ghostface Killah, Rakim, and Brother Ali - in Lawrence, Kansas (where I grew up and now go to school), and was mildly impressed by Brother Ali. Just about nothing from his actual album, however, managed to come across as notable to me. Just my personal opinion.

Speaking of that tour...Tech N9ne played at that same show, and seeing as he's from Kansas and considered Lawrence home turf, he insisted that he play last - and because of this, Rakim refused to play. God, I was pissed off - I left after Ghostface.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
February 16th 2009


4951 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

good to see this get a review finally.
brother ali is very talented, but his albums are way 1 dimensional and nearly regressive.

absurdismwine
February 16th 2009


304 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

so I'm assuming his first album is the best to start with?

illmitch
February 16th 2009


5429 Comments


as far as I'm concerned a Cam'ron album is the best to start with




but maybe that's just me

JizzInMyPants
March 30th 2009


2377 Comments


this album is fucking awesome.

gaslightanthem
April 22nd 2009


5209 Comments


ya this is pretty good

SynGates
July 12th 2009


2467 Comments


not as good as i thought it was



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