Lone Ninja
Rogue Agent


3.0
good

Review

by David Foster Wallace USER (72 Reviews)
January 3rd, 2013 | 5 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The way of the ninja is swift and deadly.

Lone Ninja-Rogue Agent review: A Dialogue between two fictional characters
By
Julien Loeper

Hello, today I decided to express my opinions through an unorthodox review, consisting of a dialogue between two fictional characters, one representing the positive side of the album and one representing the negative side of the album. Read on, and enjoy.

REVIEWER #1
Hello, I am reviewer #1

REVIEWER #2
And I am reviewer #2

REVIEWER #1
And today we will be reviewing the latest album by Lone Ninja, a member of the Twin Perils hip-hop collective straight out of New York.

REVIEWER #2
And what an album it is.

REVIEWER #1
Indeed

REVIEWER #2
So, how about a little bit of background on Twin Perils? Twin Perils was formed in 2005 I believe by two rappers, June Marx and the aforementioned Lone Ninja. I’m not quite sure about the pre-rap background of Lone Ninja, but June Marx is actually a military veteran. I believe he quit (or however one leaves the military) the military and started recording rap songs soon after.

REVIEWER #1
But you aren’t sure when he started rapping?

REVIEWER #2
Exactly but anyways, the two formed Twin Perils in 2005 and released their debut in 2008. More releases, both as a group and as separate, were released each subsequent year. Last year marks the release of the album we are reviewing today, the third solo album by Lone Ninja, Rogue Agent.

REVIEWER #1
So let’s get started on reviewing the actual album. I myself personally think this is one of the stronger releases from the collective, primarily because it’s got support in the form of a group of obscure rappers that provide anchoring verses on the tracks. It doesn’t quite attain that feel of monotony that his earlier solo releases achieved. It maintains a criterion for never letting the album dip in quality. Your thoughts?

REVIEWER #2
I absolutely hated the album. I couldn’t stand a thing about it. To me, it represents a zeitgeist, like a cultural worship of Wu-Tang circa 1993, completely devoid of any originality whatsoever. It drains the life force out of New York rap and looks down upon evolving art forms in rap as a cultural stigma. That, and for me it does attain that level of monotony because every track sounds the exact same. I understand if you are trying to maintain a certain level of consistency but to me it sounds like Lone Ninja couldn’t think of any way to differentiate him from the pack.

REVIEWER #1
See, that’s where you and I disagree. Lone Ninja himself doesn’t need to separate himself from the pack because he is already inherently different from the pack. His voice sounds like a less-crisp version of MF DOOM, and that’s no insult to either Lone or Doom, but what I’m saying is that it is distinct enough to where he could imitate any sort of sound, most primarily New York rap circa-1994, and still sound distinct. To what I understand at least, is that this is exactly what Rogue Agent is going for. It’s trying to maintain a cultural identity whilst simultaneously borrowing from other cultures. Ninja movies, videogame references, “real rap” meathead-posturing; this is exactly what this album culminates to, and it’s great for it because it’s a solid yet completely unremarkable album with its own distinct identity, despite the fact its entire identity is borrowed.

REVIEWER #2
Then how can it maintain any semblance of originality? As you said, its entire shtick is borrowed. Not a single original thing lies within the 27 tracks on this release. And that’s another problem with the album; it’s about 13 tracks too long. Had it been cut down to 14 tracks it might’ve been more listenable, but it tends to drone on and on and on. If Ninja had focused on making 14 quality songs as opposed to 27 random tracks, it might’ve been excellent. I feel like I got less bang for my buck precisely because there are 27 collections of lazy, barely-rehearsed rapping. It just feels poorly put together, and it loses atmosphere and a lot of structure because of it.

REVIEWER #1
You make a valid point, but the number of quality tracks as opposed to bad tracks is staggeringly different. Most of Rogue Agent consists of solid, on-point verses slapped over solid, on-point beat work. That’s another thing I forgot to mention, the beats on this are pretty damn good. I know there are a variety of producers on here, but they all maintain a consistent sound of lyrical instrumentation, sharp drum beats, and thumping bass licks.

REVIEWER #2
That consistency can be viewed as either a good or bad thing depending on whose being asked.

REVIEWER #1
Right, right but in my eyes (or rather my ears) it’s a good thing because it never loses its integrity. It doesn’t pander to the hip-hop sounds that people want to hear, and if you want to hear New York rap beats, then you won’t be disappointed. It doesn’t take *** from anybody, despite any sort of biting remark or snide criticism. It has a language that is colloquial amongst fans of this type of rap. I love it because I have a deep affinity for these sounds and a long history with this specific kind of rap. It speaks to me, even if its lyricism consists entirely of tough-guy posturing. It’s a great album for its consistency and its unabashed love of Wu-Tang Clan and New York Hip-Hop. I give it a 4/5

REVIEWER #2
And there’s the problem I have with the album. There is not a single lick of originality dormant within the 27 tracks on this album. The love for the Clan and all sorts of martial arts movies is too reminiscent of in fact, Wu-Tang. It’s a very meta-textual and referential that it loses personality. The only distinctive quality about Lone Ninja is his voice, and the samples used on his songs. Rogue Agent is just another cobbled together album in a long line of unremarkable, factory-manufactured rap records. I give it a 2/5.

REVIEWER #1:
Collectively are ratings score out to an average of 3/5. If anything can be said, it is that Lone Ninja has obviously worked hard on this album and it might be or might not be his best work yet, depending on your preferences for Lone Ninja’s music. However, the album has some glaring flaws that cannot be overlooked but I digress; I enjoyed it a lot and it’s worth a listen. Reviewer #2 thought it was garbage and like I said, while this does have its flaws it is worth a listen if you dig New York hip-hop and/or the Wu-Tang Clan. Check it out.



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user ratings (1)
3
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Urinetrouble
January 3rd 2013


5761 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

whatup

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
January 3rd 2013


50458 Comments


sweet

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Urinetrouble
January 3rd 2013


5761 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

thanks treboris.

CaptainDooRight
January 3rd 2013


29453 Comments


dam i wanna pos just cuz summary is passion

Digging: Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta III ? Saturnian Poetry

Hep Kat
January 3rd 2013


15351 Comments


shadow clone jutsu

banzai!



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