Review Summary: Sixteen reasons why 'The Rubix Cuban' is master of the rap game.
Rap is one those enigmas in music where an artist can be genuinely loved or unequivocally hated. There really is no middle ground. While relatively unknown outside the AOTP, underground east coast hip hop circles, New York rapper Celph Titled has been slowly developing a reputation throughout as one of the premiere battle rappers in the scene. 06 album The Gatalog was a brilliant release of cleverly placed raps and insanely catchy rhythms suffering from an almost insane amount of songs for the listener to choose from. Since that time, the ‘Rubix Cuban’ has been seen mostly in the background of other east coast rappers, shadowing for Jedi Mind Tricks, Apathy and more than one appearance in the Army of the Pharaohs catalog. But while Celph has been making his voice heard in a song here and there, he has quietly been planning a takeover of the rap game and his sophomore album, nearly four years in the making, Nineteen Ninety Now
, has finally dropped and it’s proof of the lyrical mastership that Celph Titled possess.
From the smooth opening of ‘The Deal Maker
’ it becomes apparent of Celph Title’s gift has an MC and lyricist. Celphs signature playful yet serious tone of voice that made him such an easy rapper to distinguish in his guest spots becomes the first thing that the listener falls in love with. The fact that it has been nearly four years since Celphs last album does not escape him, as featured in his first track: ‘Can’t compose my discographies to run with the most/cause I appear on more tracks than Dale Earnhart’s ghost
’. Celph Titled has put a lot of time and effort into this release, as his rhymes and raps are more numerous than I could even write on this review without having to seem redundant and repetitive, let alone professional.
Much to the tune of other east coast rappers under the Vinnie Paz banner, Celph Titled utilizes guest spots extremely well and in a way where it doesn’t just sound like another Army of the Pharaohs track. ‘Eraserheads
’ featuring Vinnie Paz of Jedi Mind Tricks fame is a battle track of classic Celph style, featuring interchanging verses from Celph and Vinnie, all joined together by a catchy chorus and a bass heavy beat. But probably the best track throughout the entire album is the guest heavy track ‘Swashbuckling
’, featuring Army of the Pharaohs veterans Apathy, the Esoterodactyl himself (aka Esoteric), and Ryu. Not only does every MC shine throughout every verse, every spitted rhyme, but the production found by Buckwild is also to be to be largely commended. ‘Swashbuckling
’ doesn’t necessarily have a stop/go beat, but rather, it redresses itself for every MC spot, going from the smooth raps of Ryu, a bass heavy, battle-rap by Apathy and horrorcore inspired raps by Celph.
That leads to another major positive throughout the entire album. That is the beats and production of guest star Buckwild. All of his beats go from bass heavy (‘Swashbuckling’, ‘Mad Ammo’) to a near smooth jazz-esque (‘F*ckmaster Sex
’, ‘Hardcore Data
’) and of course the signature horrorcore inspired beats that most critics tend to group Celph Titled into (‘Tingin
’, ‘Styles Ain’t Raw
’, and ‘Where I Are
’). His abilities of accentuating Celph Titles voice while maintaining a clean yet raw production of the bass and beats are enough to give Nineteen Ninety Now one of the best produced rap albums released this year.
Celph Titled has delivered the goods that have been in the works for four years. In sixteen tracks, Celph Titled has given us reason to acknowledge him as one of the leaders of the rap game. With all the fat trimmed from The Gatalog, Nineteen Ninety Now takes all the mistakes that may have plagued Celphs debut and refines it, perfects it. It’s going to hard for the rest of the east coast AOTP rappers to keep up with this record as there are few, if any faults found on Nineteen Ninety Now. Featuring stellar production, a killer MC, and perfectly placed guest spots, Celph Titled’s sophomore album is definitely a contender for the best rap album on the year.