Killah Priest
Heavy Mental



by Joe Schmoh USER (73 Reviews)
October 25th, 2009 | 6 replies

Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Mixing rap and religion is often like mixing oil and water, it just doesn't go together. But in the case of Heavy Mental, Killah Priest pulls it off nicely.

Heavy Mental, Killah Priest’s debut, is something incredibly rare; a hard hitting religious rap record. Killah Priest builds up these songs with his religious musings and - very occasionally - babblings, and mixes them with an eerie, minimalistic soundtrack that drives the listener to the very end with an occasional regular Wu Posse cut (“Cross My Heart”) or hard-hitting 90s Wu-influenced rap track (“The Professional”) without many bumps in the ride.

Heavy Mental essentially consists of two moods and personas: One that focuses on anger and the murder of ‘fake mc’s’ (especially on “Fake MC’s”!), and the other that is laid-back, at times depressing and subdued, but completely telling of his beliefs. Throughout, Killah Priest proves he is far stronger as a calm teller of tales, like on the paranoid-atmospherics of the title track, the oddly hooky and use of gospel organs on “B.I.B.L.E.”, or the street narrative “Science Projects”. When Killah Priest calms himself down, he manages to present his paranoid politics mixed with face-in-the-bible religious references well, but when he starts riling himself up and tries to act like a member of the Wu-Tang, he shows off a weakness in his flow and writing. “Fake MC’s” is complimented with an elegantly dark piano backing, but fails to come together due to Killah Priest’s lackadaisical slander of opposing MC’s, which also affects his verse on “Cross My Heart”, making him sound amateur compared to Wu-rappers GZA and Inspectah Deck.

There is not much else to say about Heavy Mental other than the cold, archaic-sounding beats that manage to fit Killah Priest’s bible studying. At times piano-driven (“Fake MC’s), other times led by odd vocal samples (“If You Don’t Know”), but mostly in cahoots with the rest of the albums dark mood, only being broken by the albums best track “B.I.B.L.E.”, a slightly more upbeat tune driven by its gospel influences and Killah Priest’s informative tales of early doubts of the church.

Despite some slight flaws in consistency of mood and skill, Heavy Mental is an eccentric record nonetheless. Overall, Heavy Mental is just good enough to check, but not good enough to re-invent music and invoke followers to make copy-cat records exactly like this.

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user ratings (34)

Comments:Add a Comment 
October 25th 2009


Well-written and helpful. Hmm, I think I'm gonna start italicizing the album title like you do. It looks better and it looks professional.

October 25th 2009


B.I.B.L.E. is so good possibly checking this out.

Digging: Chief Keef - Bang 3, Pt. 2

October 25th 2009


Album Rating: 3.5

Most of the record is good and some songs almost touch that song, but not quite. Plus the rest of the album is much darker.

October 25th 2009


i definitely enjoy this album...sometimes the religious aspects become overbearing, but solid production and a break from the traditional hip hop aesthetic make it a classic in my book.

and for some reason, i always loved the cover!

October 25th 2009


Album Rating: 3.5

I definitely would not call this a classic, sometimes he try to be one of the generic Wu Tang Killa bees and sound like shit. Luckily he doesn't do that as much as he does on View From Masada, that album is seriously bad.

November 15th 2013


"Professional". Outstanding song.

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