Pacewon :: Telepathy :: Detonator Records
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

In the world of acquired taste for hip-hop, there are MC's that don't just push the boundaries of expected flavors, they blow right past it. Pacewon has that covered in spades. Ever since "The Rah Rah" broke in 2000, using a background sample culled from a spy movie, the sometimes goofy but always fresh rapping style of Pacewon has been a known fact for underground rap fans. You ever heard a rapper say about another rapper's freestyle that the kid is "dumb nice" on the mic? Pacewon's got that locked, figuratively and literally. Between Pace, RZA, and G. Rap the greatest book of rap delivery known to man could be written on how to make even bad concepts sound good and good concepts sound fresh as ALL hell.

Pace has been surprisingly quiet since the 2002 release of his official solo debut album "Won," which was comprised of both new jams and his older unreleased songs to great effect. After taking some time away from the scene, Pace called shots on the Jenz Cypher produced single "Rap Music" in 2003. This song is also included on his new album "Telepathy," and good thing too - it would be a damn shame to cut it. You might recognize the beat's Mobb Deep roots, but Pace makes the music all his own:

"Yo! This is every man for himself and things not sweet
I knew this song by that crew Mobb Deep
So I used it, my brother produced it, new shit
Set me up so I could flow like a cruise ship
And tell this story 'bout these men that's foul
And how this little nerdy kid stole our style
And ran wit' it, even bit our wit' and our charm
And did a half a dozen songs, dissin his mom
He went so far 'cross the grain, I should put the choke down
He turned our inner expression to a joke style
Doin that pop BS, doin coke now
Another manic depressive, gettin doped out
I read a book about he a crook and no good
That's why he hidin from Suge
Why he had to pack his bags and move his things from the hood
So scared he wouldn't move back if he could!"

Hold up - is Pace talking about Eminem? Certainly sounds like it if you read between the lines. For those that don't know, Em was at one time a de facto member of Pacewon's crew of Outsidaz, a membership that has also included top rap talents like Rah Digga and Young Zee. He appeared on several of their group tracks, shouted out the crew in freestyles, but these days don't nobody in the Outsidaz say shit about him or vice versa - until now at least. In the album's liner notes when Pace is giving out his thank yous to various people affiliated with the Outsidaz, he clearly takes another stab at him by mentioning D-12 members Bizarre, Proof, and Denaun Porter but then writing in "White Cool Jackson (you fronted)." Sounds like beef's gonna be on like Donkey Kong - and on a personal note I'd be far more interested in seeing the two of them battle than hear another tired piece of crap from Benzino.

Jenz Cypher only produces one other track on the album - "Get it, Get It" - but it's type flava nice. J. Rock laces one track, the stripped down and energy infused "It Gets Hot." You'll find Original Dynamite up on two songs, the manic "You Ain't Really Down" and the pimpishly smooth sex ode "Love Me Baby" where Pacewon declares himself "La-Schmoove like the Fu-Schnickens." Harry Love has one joint "Rocking with the Best" and it's aight, but it really can't hold a candle to the Dorthy Ashby produced "Locked (Part 2)." For those who didn't hear the incredibly beautiful harp strings of the first joint, they'll be jonzing for it after this sequel. Pace is rapping about his favorite subjects again, but you can't front on it:

"If you broker than a joker, pockets on E
Or just got stuck after clockin all week
The gat twelve-fifty and the rocket's on me
Now you can roll through your hardest projects on feet
Now you can send 'em upstream like bass, they dead fish
Spend your money with me, watch how fast you get rich
See I take it by force while they come with a soft sound
Like they with they girl, carriage and horse style
I'm a drunk, see I can't put the sauce down
Girls that I fucked in the past, turn me off now
Crooked, I done snatched a hundred chains
Versace shades since Big, nuttin changed
Sensors go off when the pussy come in range"

All the rest of the tracks are produced by Pace himelf, with good results. "Won (Part 2)" has an MF Doom comic book style, which certainly fits in with the album and it's theme/cover art. "Take Me With You" is definitely smooth on the guitar groove, and pleases the ear. "Don't Trip" is hard knocking and head rocking while "Wake the Town" is another familiar loop that's been flipped up to go with Pace's straight comedic raps: "Until Miss Cleo, predicts who pull the most chicks/let me tell you in advance, that's me!" "Okay, Alright" has a relaxed reggae vibe, which fits in with a clearly weeded sound and attitude. The only times Pace really doesn't keep up musically with himself lyrically is on the repetitive and uninteresting "M.C.'s"; otherwise songs like "What Comes Around Goes Around" and "Mister Fantastic" are at the top of "Telepathy" in terms of it's hottest material. Pace doesn't seem interested in booming his way to the top of the pop charts, and with his unorthodox flow and darkly gruff voice that's probably for the best anyway. The troopers, the b-boys, the underground heads and hardcore hip-hop fans will feel the vibes his "Telepathy" communicates though, and that's more than good enough.

Music Vibes: 7.5 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 7.5 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 7.5 of 10

Originally posted: April 6, 2004