various artists :: Solidified Relations :: Make it Happen Entertainment
as reviewed by Susan 'susiQ' Kim

As the record label tells you, they make it happen out of Harrisburg, PA. Exposing the talents of primarily Pennsylvania artists, Make it Happen Entertainment continues on in their seventh year of survival. Continuing to create music as an independent label, Make It Happen is, as seen through their own eyes, "a group of artists that work together to present timeless, heart & soul shaking Hip-Hop."

With prior album releases including "Da Ambush" in 2000 and "Life, Music, and Paper" in 2003 both totaling about 16,000 units sold, Make It Happen Entertainment adds to their list of respectable music with their third compilation "Solidified Relations."

While reintroducing many artists from previous works as well as presenting some new faces to the group, "Solidified Relations" builds on the foundation that has already been laid. Dayne Jaxs, Penhead, Blackston the Great, AlterEgo, Seldom Seen, Vic Creed, and Sean Broxxx come together collectively to further develop the idea of strengthening bonds within.

Similar to past albums, "Solidified Relations" ties in reality to the lyricism at hand with a focus on being positive through life's struggles. Following the same premise with the title track, Dayne Jaxs raps over a piano hook and instills the idea of moving away from hate and continuing to be positive whether it is in life or the rap industry as he says:

"I'm a ride with patience
People criticize my patience
These people live their lives for hatin'
It's all good
I live my life for prayin'
Now it's time for these solidified relations"

AlterEgo adds his own talents and two cents by showing that success doesn't come easy with the accompaniment of downfalls in "Goin' Off." He begins by stating the definition of "to go off" with its meaning that entails "to snap, to go into a zone, or to have a total and complete loss of control." With an ominous beat and impressive cuts and scratches from DJ Smitty, AlterEgo shows that " I'm goin' off/cause it's about time that I get mine/even if it mean I gotta lay up in the chalk lines." He brings us back to reality in "Holiday" and shows the key to survival is by living each day as if it were a holiday regardless of life's situations.

In a slow, subdued beat with the sound of rain in the background, Victa Creed also looks past the struggle and instead attempts to stay optimistic in "Rainy Days." Featuring vocals from Debbie Capo in the chorus, Victa Creed shows:

"Feeling like I gotta pack my bags and get up out of this place
I want to go somewhere the sun can shine on my face
A happy city where there aint no rain
Would I know my happiness if I didn't know my pain?
I like to call it content
If you living the good life don't let me spoil the event
Just let me sit by my lonesome and continue rotting
Repeating mama's words in my head, but still aint got 'em
Is it just me, this world aint that bad
On second thought 90% of it is trash
There aint no decent people left
So why should I be
My heart is the picket fence
My pain is the ivy
Why does it feel like the solution is dying?
But I'm a push on and live another day trying"

With high-pitched momentary sounds matched with a fast paced beat in "Temptation," Penhead calls attention to uncertainty and confusion, feeling as though "temptation's like gravity." A confession of sins commences the track as Penhead's swift lyricism paired with the sharp beat displays incomparable talent.

Collaborating on "Between Heaven & Hell," the crew joins forces on this hard hitting track that touches upon a nonexistent reality. Taking on religious views and depicting life through the eyes of a visionary, it is one powerful track that exemplifies each artist's talents. In another group effort, they come together for the last track in "The Strategy" and also features Chi, Tempt, Traffic, and, Phene. With harp-like sounds in the background, each emcee brings their own technique and style to the track to depict their own strategy of how to live life.

The night cityscape of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and two separate hands grasping into a fist shown in the album's cover art, clearly depicts the message told in "Solidified Relations." The production and alliance of artists to represent PA's talents is unsurpassed with their continuous positive messages and realism from track to track, as well as showing solidarity. Make it Happen has only continued to improve since their first and second album, while their third accomplishment has proven that the strengths of an underground label are unmatched.

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

Originally posted: June 5, 2007