Eddie Meeks is one of many emcees that I've heard of but never had the chance to actually hear. His crew, Prophetix, has come up at times when people talk about quality underground music. The group's producer, Jon Doe, I remember as being the producer of one of the many "Black Album" remix projects I never got around to hearing. Finally presented the chance to experience Prophetix and Jon Doe first hand through Eddie Meek's solo album, I'm not surprised but am impressed with a solid album full of dope beats and thoughtful lyrics.
The album starts off very unconventionally with a two minute spoken/instrumental intro, a one minute battle rap, a one minute instrumental interlude, and then the first full length track comes in. While Meeks rips the mic on the short battle rap and the instrumental interlude is dope, the unusual arrangement of tracks could deter some fans from reaching the meat of the album. The album's first official track is the high-energy "Grown Folklore." The beat's bluesy feel still manages to provide Meeks' with enough energy to spit some strong battle raps. "E-M-Pereal" finds Meeks criticizing the thugged out nature of the rap game and proclaiming his own status at the top of the game. "Sasquatch Feet" gets its title from Meeks' comparison of the beat's hard hitting bass to the sound of large feet hitting the ground. Meeks drops another heavy battle verse, but up to this point of the album the content has been a little too battle heavy. Meeks seems to read the listener's mind as the track that follows provides a fresh change of pace. "A Daughter's Serenade" is a dedication to his daughter with a sweet beat that matches Meeks' sentiments on the track.
Meeks returns to the tracks he is most comfortable with immediately following his dedication to his daughter as "What's It All About," "A.T.F.," and "The Bitterdose" are all heavy on the brags and boasts. While his repertoire almost exclusively focuses on bravado, Meeks can do so since his lyrics are strong enough to keep things interesting even if the song concepts can get a little repetitive. The opening verse on "The Bitterdose" is a perfect example of Meeks' skills on the mic:
"This for my addicts with the big face habits
Girls that gotta have it like Playboy bunny rabbits
Big chain and velour outfit fanatics
Republicans that switched to democratic
My ability to brag and boast
Is known in the streets and the game as the bitter dose
It's reality mixed with heroin and coke
Blocked up like everest, your block gets stocked up
My profits is never affected
Paper gets stocked from exports more than domestics
My bars never get molested
Accounts bear more interest through sound investments
I started in the game as a small time runner
Moved up in the ranks as a top ten stunner
Now distribution chains wanna get my phone number
Turn a bone chilling winter to a skin peeling summer
Make you hit rock bottom like tree leaves in autumn
I ball in the fall right in front of y'all
Now Meeks and the track will, ah...
Beat blood out ya like Batman and Blackula
My spectacular – vernacular
Travel through space and time like Scott Bakula
So don't overdose, keep your enemies close
So you can hit them in the vein with the bitter dose"
The rest of the album fills out with a similar format as Jon Doe provides dope and varied beats, heavy on the soulful side, and Meeks drops strong brags on the mic.
It's rare that an artist can focus almost exclusively on one approach on the mic and still produce an enjoyable album. Meeks style is most aptly described as that of a battle emcee, but mixed within his brags and boasts are honest reflections about life and criticisms of the world around him. The result could be a jumbled mix of thoughts, but Meeks does it well and keeps the listener engaged. Jon Doe's beats also keep the album entertaining as his soulful approach fits Meeks style and produces beats that are also enjoyable in themselves. Next time around a more balanced and varied approach as far as song content goes could propel Eddie Meeks further into the limelight, but even without such improvements Meeks is still a worthy listen.
Music Vibes: 7 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 7 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 7 of 10
Originally posted: March 28, 2006