7L & Esoteric
1212


4.0
excellent

Review

by Andrew Gold CONTRIBUTOR (66 Reviews)
June 22nd, 2013 | 11 replies | 971 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist


When it comes to having the ingredients necessary for a good hip-hop album – i.e. a competent producer and an emcee with a smooth flow and clever lyricism – 1212 delivers on all fronts and then some. 7L provides the eccentric beats to Esoteric’s equally eccentric rapping, and together the Boston-based hip-hop duo create some of the best underground rap no one’s ever heard of. Despite a few very welcome guest spots, most notably Vinnie Paz in ‘Bare Knuckle Boxing’ and Wu-Tang’s own Inspectah Deck stealing the show on ‘12th Chamber’, the best tracks on 1212 are just the duo in perfect sync doing what they do best. The aptly titled ‘Retrospects’ has Esoteric walking us through his back catalogue and how he got to where he is now. ‘No Shots’ is ironic, as Eso not-so-subtly jabs at the competition with lines like: “See, I was raised on D.O.C. and Tim D.O.G. / How the fuck can I respect groups like 3oh!3” and “…Somebody gotta lobotomize my brain / If I’m supposed to tolerate dudes like Waka Flocka Flame, or whatever the fuck’s his name”. Those aren’t the only instances of name dropping; Eso goes on to dis Kanye West for sampling A New Dope “like a klepto” and claims that he’s “hardcore like Meshuggah.”

7L’s production ranges from creepy circus jingles (Drawbar 1-2), anthemic rock samples (Retrospects) and even to simple, kiddy-progressions (New Rapper) that on paper shouldn’t work, but they do. When the beats work, the emcee(s) seamlessly click and fall in line with all the hooks effortlessly. Even when the beats aren’t very good, typically the rapping more than makes up for it, like Eso’s rapid-fire flow on ‘The Most Rotten’ or Celph Titled’s tongue-in-cheek verse over the tepid old school funk beat in ‘Run This’. The diversity of 7L’s production helps keep the record exciting, if listening to Eso complain about watching The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants on a plane isn’t quite thrilling enough for you. 7LES succeed when they’re completely in the pocket, which thankfully happens more often than not. Perhaps the most humbling aspect of 1212 is just that – it’s not bombastic or egocentric like most hip-hop – it’s real, it’s down to earth, and amongst all the slick metaphors and scornful remarks towards fellow rappers, Esoteric consciously kicks down the pedestal and shows that he’s just as human as the rest of us.

Allow me to be Frank like Zappa
Most dudes I hear today reek of fecal matter
I’d do a joint for free if it could move me up the ladder
But that would have to be with a more established rapper




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user ratings (2)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
June 22nd 2013



20639 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hip hop isnt exactly my forte but ive been jamming this non stop and it really needed a review

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TheCollectiveFacade
June 22nd 2013



650 Comments


i love 7l and esos old stuff, hows this compare in your opinion?

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TheCollectiveFacade
June 22nd 2013



650 Comments


for instance soul purpose

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
June 22nd 2013



20639 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ive only heard dangerous connection and i definitely prefer this

KILL
June 22nd 2013



70599 Comments


2112>

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Keyblade
June 22nd 2013



14248 Comments


never dug their material too much, but they're straight fire on CZARFACE check that if you haven't Ins

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Moople
June 22nd 2013



228 Comments


rip dethtrasher

GnarlyShillelagh
Staff Reviewer
June 22nd 2013



6021 Comments


man haven't listened to this album in foreverrrr

what song is the meshuggah line in?

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
June 22nd 2013



20639 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

pretty sure its in the most rotten

demigod!
June 22nd 2013



43885 Comments


really dig what these guys did with Inspectah on CZARFACE, gonna check this soon.

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Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
March 12th 2014



20639 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

more people gotta check this out. so fucking good



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