Review Summary: No one will care about part II
With a recent appearance at the Soundset hip-hop festival and constant touring, Orlando hip-hop collective Sol.Illaquists of Sound have been putting work in to establish their own brand of conscious, yet experimental hip-hop. Typically a region where rap quality is determined by quantity of boats-in-music video, 2009's No More Heroes
flipped this notion on its head with producer Divinci expounding electronic-inflected beat science about MC Swamburger and Alexandrah's technical (and sometimes synchronous) vocal attack. The 4th Wall Part I
had pretty high expectations, but falls grievously short.
Instead of extending what made their prior release so enjoyable and groundbreaking, SoS have reverted by way of Gym Class Heroes to a less-challenging form of pop-rock influenced hip-hop. The production isn't as adventurous Divinci is capable of, but doesn't detract nearly as much from the overall package as the surprisingly weak songwriting. While the MCs have a lot to say (and say it well), they are lost when the compositions focus around simple power chord progressions and straight up radio rock. The fad of mixing rock and hip-hop has long overstayed its welcome such that it's anachronistic for the Sol.Illaquists to be doing this at all, especially in 2012. At least the closer hearkens back to earlier days in "Suite of a Thousand Thank Yous", but it's too little, too late. Hopefully, The 4th Wall Part II
brings the group closer to what made them a force to be reckoned with - but after Part I
it's hard to care.