Maybe they have caught on overseas, but I don't think the U.S. will accept Titan Clash so readily. Jeckle the Mindbender, Michelangelo and Mr. Justice have been cooking up lyrics and beats since 1996, but their recipe isn't ready for our airwaves just yet.
Ironically, this No Sides release has a "good" side and an "evil" side. And coincidentally, the good side is better than the bad side! As intended, "Raindelay" (The Good Side) has an upbeat and almost hypnotic melody with positive lyrics. The song is a reminder that life is what you make it and the sentiment is to push yourself and take all that you can from what you're given.
In obvious contrast, "Poisoned Ears (Step Away)" (The Evil Side) has a much darker sound. The supposed mockery of many artists who get famous off of rapping about drugs, women, and violence leaves a bad taste, both during and after. If nothing else, you might try listening just to get a few laughs. Although I appreciate the motivation behind the song, Titan Clash could have gone at it a different way. Instead, they came of sounding like they were trying too hard, almost forcing their flow. Experience has taught me to do what makes you feel comfortable, and TC needs to stick to a more positive flow.
I will give one thing to these Chi-town cats, though--they have a unique sound. They take your basic hip hop beat and mix it with an orchestral sound and voila! But unfortunately, being creative and unique doesn't always result in quality. During my first few listens, I was feeling the music, but in general, it is way too powerful for the rhymes. More often than not, you'll find yourself straining to hear their overshadowed lyrics through the sound of violins, only to find out that your energy could have been put to something more constructive. The lyrics, which have only a few high points, are generally lackluster and tend to be random and misplaced. For example, it's difficult to determine what these cats are trying to get across on "Platinum." Once you finally get past the music itself to discern the lyrics, you might get confused. They don't flow logically, and they seem to ramble at times. Maybe they were attempting to reach an elevated lyrical level and just missed. Regardless, the results are average.
"Theories and Assumptions" is a politically incorrect track about such issues as government conspiracy, crooked politicians, God and AIDS. While some of their ideas are plausible, many of them may be too far fetched for most of the population to feel.
"Life is a gamble, yo, I tend to ramble
going on and on about these conspiracies
Lately I've noticed these suckas we call leaders
taking innocent lives for their campaign gain
Pay your taxes so they can build a 7 billion dollar mass destruction
it has a crazy function
the ability to clone another human being
has another purpose other than curing cancer
so they can answer
the breakdown solution to another type of tuberculosis
it's hocus pocus
Did you ever wonder why AIDS kills 20,000 people a year
In their eyes you see fear - it's population control man..."
The best song on The Good vs. Evil EP is "Mindsets Concepts." Not only is their flow much more natural and believable, the production is nice. Out of all the songs on the album, "Mindsets Concepts" is probably the best display of the quality that Titan Clash is capable of, and what they should steer toward. Perhaps the best verse on "Mindsets" is the third:
"I do it all the time, it's natural instinct
respect my people, that's why I think before I speak
summer heat got me trippin' on wax
I give it all that I got, bustin my ass
tears, blood, and sweat, I'm a vet to the essence
raised with that, I'm not dwelling on the past
so I keep it at that, in fact
rhyming got my life in tact
Now I want what I need cause I got a little seed
This is the real me
I'm not livin what I see, I'm seein what I live
that's the way it's gotta be..."
However, what is painfully obvious about this group, even on "Mindsets", is that it's very hard for TC to perfect their lyrical content, delivery and production all at the same time. When one aspect gets better, the others seem to suffer. Another example of this is "Days and Nights," a song about the passage of time and living life. It has a soulful 1960's feel, and although it is somewhat repetitive, it still has a great vibe. But the lyrics are random and somewhat extraneous.
What is unfortunate about "The Good vs Evil EP" is most of the tracks have decent production, but mediocre lyrical content and poor delivery lessen the quality of the album. Although there is nothing spectacular about this album, I wouldn't totally discount Titan Clash. They don't lack talent, and I have a feeling we might be hearing from them in other forms in the near future.
Music Vibes: 5 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 4 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 4.5 of 10
Originally posted: August 7, 2001