One of the most popular ironies in underground Hip Hop occurs when an artist is so fed up with the lack of variety in the mainstream that his music focuses on it and so he falls prey to the exact same problem. For example, Effect is, as stated fed up with the numerous unnamed wack MC's that he sees around him. So, in retaliation to all of these rappers "rapping about their chain, or their gat, or their crack, or their fat chronic sack," Effect naturally dedicates around half of this album's thirty-four minutes to the same subject.
Even more ironic, Effect doesn't do much on this EP to distinguish himself from "99% of MC's." For all intents and purposes, he's a very run of the mill rapper in every way. His delivery is slightly more intense than most rappers, but he's not very creative with it, and it usually stays the same throughout any song. He's not a particularly good lyricist in any way, shape or form, and he's not really any more creative in theme than any rapper he could criticize.
Luckily for him, he's not without help here. D-Tension handles all the production, and is slightly more talented of a producer, if similarly undistinguishable from the multitude. His production varies in tempo and feel impressively throughout the album, and Effect is always extremely comfortable throughout the album. Over the short span of an EP, he manages to achieve the difficult balance between varying his sound and still lending a cohesive sound to the album.
To his credit, when Effect isn't busy dissing imaginary rappers, his entire game is elevated. He closes the album on his strongest moments, weaving tales of love and betrayal on "Gotta Be Something" and its sequel. Rather than degrading women or uplifting them ridiculously, he focuses on the ups and downs of relationships, remaining brutally honest throughout. It's hardly all bliss, as the sequel deals with the harsh break-up. Also of note is the dark "This is Life," where he examines various topics that are important to him, concluding that Hip Hop is his life.
Even then, there's still nothing particularly special about "The Effect EP." The strong moments aren't enough to outweigh the uninspiring ones. There are far too many guests, most of them other up and comers with no more talent that Effect. An album this short must showcase an artist's strongest moments to be worth a purchase, and this only gives listener's a few.
Music Vibes: 7 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 6 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 6.5 of 10
Originally posted: July 17, 2007