Regardless of musical quality, it's always nice to see an emcee heading in another direction. Most heads would agree that there has been a distinct lack of innovation from a lyrical standpoint. For all of the Roc-a-Fella clones and 50-Cent imitators, there are very few Immortal Techniques and Ghostfaces. This isn't always a bad thing, as emcees nowadays are just giving the people what they want to hear, and moving units is a legitimate motive for any businessman. The artists I'm thinking of cannot be faulted, they are simply caught up in the machine.
Maybe all of this predictable posturing is a blessing, because it makes an artist like Infinito sound that much fresher. Infinito is an emcee's emcee, a rapper who is far more concerned with awareness than raking in dough. Throughout his 2002 record "Music With Sound Right Reasoning," he expresses his own unique views on the industry and just about everything else. Infinito is one of those emcees who isn't remarkably gifted, but he has a voice and isn't afraid of expressing his opinions, however unorthodox they might be.
After the obligatory intro, the title track kicks the record off. Over a solid production credit from Memo of the Molemen, Infinito drops his thesis, making his purpose clear. The organ on the track is slightly haunting, and provides the inspiration for Infinito's verbal barbs:
"Bitch kids should be punished for rhyming about nothing
Wackness on the mic shouldn't exist
Who you frontin', I'm all live
Kill your dead-ass mind
Even when I come twice I'm still one of a kind
Basic complexity, physics, calculus, trigonometry
I keep it right like Posdnous and Badu
On drums like Tito Puente, OK"
Infinito is not the best emcee, but his intent is certainly there. His rhymes aren't especially complex, and he doesn't have a particularly extensive vocabulary. In this sense, he is a relatively ordinary rapper. He separates himself from the others with his subject matter on songs like "Seeing is Knowing":
"Connection's restored, as I aggravate paper with misdirected anger
Fear from seclusion, accused of petty crimes
Battle dudes who write pretty rhymes
Boys are too much fantasy, not enough male role model"
For much of the record, Infinito's rhymes act as a steady stream of thoughts from an intelligent, guided emcee. To an extent, he is a battle rapper, but his focus is on dragging down the fakers than braggadocio. He unfortunately spends more time battling than he should, but every word has honorable intentions. The most intriguing moments on the LP showcase a more pensive, abstract style of rhyming from the native Chicagoan. He reflects brilliantly on "Escaping the Turmoil of a Twisted Reality," one of the high points of the record. The problem with the frustration he displays with other artists is that he frequently displays those same battle-oriented characteristics. He never champions the flossing lifestyle, but shit-talking is not above him. I can't really fault him for this, as it is how emcees have always made their livings. At times, though, it detracts from his message.
Towards the middle, "Music With Sound Right Reasoning" begins to drag, despite maintaining the same standard of quality. The problem is that none of the music is very varied. The production, mostly by Memo and Mixx Massacre, is consistently good, but each track is constructed in a similar fashion. Over a twelve song album, this lends itself to unity, but over the course of twenty two tracks, some switching of the formula is necessary. The same rule holds for the lyrics, which are aided by a sparse three guests. This leaves Infinito to carry the load on the remainder, which is quite a task for any emcee. Very few rappers could pull that off with such little deviation, and Infinito is no exception.
Despite the length, Infinito's 2002 effort is well worth listening too. If nothing else, it establishes him as someone to watch. His words merit attention, especially for those who are interested in something a bit different. The music is surprisingly accessible given the subject matter, and anyone who gives "Music With Sound Right Reasoning" a try will be refreshed by a strong, seasoned voice.
Music Vibes: 7 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 7 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 7 of 10
Originally posted: November 2, 2004