Sean Price introduced the rap world to Mic Tyson in 2009 and ever since that mixtape we’ve all been eagerly anticipating the full length. It took almost three full years, but lo and behold, the official “Mic Tyson” album is finally available everywhere – from regular retail outlets like Best Buy to digital download purveyors like Amazon. That’s not to say Sean PEEEEE hasn’t stayed busy in the interim – in fact he was part of last year’s hip-hop supergroup Random Axe and always seems to pop up with a freestyle or a semi-hostile takeover over the airwaves like his appearance on Shade 45’s “Toca Tuesdays.”
Only the indefatigable and flamboyant Sean Price could decide that the first single from his first commercial solo LP in several years would be “Shut the Fuck Up, Part 2.” Judging by the cover art, he’s not kidding about that. It looks like his cartoon counterpart has been bashing people in the head with a microphone until the head wound up blood red. Then again it’s no surprise Price would feel that ruggish when said same single is backed by a bugged out boom bap beat from everybody’s favorite California lead-to-gold producer Alchemist:
“Listen, all I do is rap and rhyme
I don’t know today’s math, don’t keep track of time
Universal beatdown, beat down your universe
Sean P, a/k/a you the worst
Heh – this your man Sean
The opposite of a fuckin Duran Duran song
Y’all niggaz softer than whack shit
My rap slap the Earth off of its axis
You dealin with the motherfuckin boss you bastard
Niggaz die when I raise up my voice a ratchet”
There are few people better at expressing inner hostility toward other emcees while simultaneously bragging about their own abilities than Sean Price. One of the other Alchemist produced tracks may explain this combination best, and in the process coins yet another new nickname for Sean Price: “Bar-Barian.” In only two minutes time he manages to “bust heaters at your whole damn clique” while proclaiming “rap niggaz – I doubt if there’s/another nigga doin it like me – fuck outta here!!” If you’re a Price fan (which I freely admit I am) it only gets better on the song immediately following, as he goes straight for the jugular on the Amp produced “Pyrex,” featuring some of the heaviest piano keys heard in hip-hop in some time.
“Shoot the fair one, mano a mano the clown
I pull the pound on a Ronald McDonald
You a Happy Meal nigga with a toy in the box
I clap the steel nigga, put your boy in a box”
Adrenaline junkies take note, “Mic Tyson” is your fix. Feminists and hippies take note, “Mic Tyson” is your worst nightmare. Sean is unapologetically machismo. Listening to him you practically picture him tearing raw steak apart with his bare hands and wolfing it down, blood dripping from his teeth, smiling maniacally. The man takes no prisoners, shouting out his Duck Down label one second and happily saying “fuck a record deal” seconds later on “Price & Shining Armor” featuring Ruste Juxx. Speaking of guest appearances, “Mic Tyson” is loaded up like a motherfucker with emcees on his same macho wavelength. Hearing him trade verses with Pumpkinhead over Beat Butcha on “Battering Bars” is a treat, almost as much as him rocking with Pharoahe Monch over Evidence and DJ Babu on “BBQ Sauce.” Then again Ill Bill goes just as hard as the rest over the symphonically dark and DC inspired “Solomon Grundy.” How can you choose a favorite? After hearing “By the Way” featuring Torae, you CAN’T.
Let me just bottom line this album for any of you doubters or disbelievers – Sean Price has rarely if ever lost a step and “Mic Tyson” is not going to be the time that he did. In fact he differentiates himself from the boxer that he’s named after in that he seems to get MORE pugilistic with age, giving his delivery even more ferocity and making what would seem to otherwise be simple punchlines hit harder than a f’n brick. There’s no reason not to be down with “Mic Tyson” if you have ever been a fan of his, whether on Boot Camp albums, as one half of Heltah Skeltah, or his long tenure as a soloist. BUY IT.