Review Summary: Doseone's scatterbrained mind produces this solid indie hip hop tape.
"Hemispheres" is the solo debut album of the Midwest abstract rapper known as Doseone. Born Adam Drucker, Dose's gifted lexicon substantially sets him apart from other MC's. Recorded from 1996 to 1998, Hemispheres contains 11 tracks of esoteric hip hop that possess what would be known as his signature nasal style. His voice and unconventional sound may put off some, but as strange as it is, Hemispheres is still a good choice for anyone wanting to explore indie rap music.
A lot of the songs ("Voluntary Passive Euthanasia", "Self Explanitory") appeared on Subtitled and Untitled. I prefer the tape versions ("Euthanasia" and "Self Explanitory", respectively) because of more upbeat instrumentals and Dose's angrier flow (he battled in Scribble Jam at the time). The production, handled by a talented crew (Jel, Mr. Dibbs, J. Rawls, Aktual Solar, Kris Brown, Fat Jon) create instrumentals bred with healthy doses of electronic interwoven in hip hop ("Civilization", "Voluntary Passive Euthanasia", "2 Ton Can of Wupass", and others), in addition to jazzy or dark and ethereal backdrops for Dose's lyrics. Live instruments must have been implemented on "Genres". I personally enjoy these instrumentals, even if "Etherial Downtime" continues for a bit too long.
Dose's lyricism, on the other hand, is his gift and curse on Hemispheres. The man's multi-syllabic rhyme schemes and vocabulary are stellar, but the lack of catchy choruses hurts the album as a whole. Choruses that do exist, such as those on "Blur", "Spitfire", "2 Ton Can", and others, either drone on for too long or barely seem like choruses at all. One has to grasp on Doseone's verses for the duration of the album. Luckily for us, his stream-of-consciousness flows and rampant battle rhymes accomplish this. "Self Explanitory", "Spitfire", "Blur", "That OI' Pagan ***", and "Neapolitan" are standouts on the album. Doseone effectively spawns thought-provoking verses and battle-oriented bars with precision and cunning.
Thanks to this and the production, Doseone's scatterbrained mind produces this solid indie hip hop tape. So please, don't expect a club hit from Hemispheres. Expect a collection of great tracks from one of the most bizarre MC's ever to pick up a microphone.