While casually putting his name out with his "Hood Politics IV" mixtape, New York-based rapper, Termanology, comes back with full vengeance in his debut album, "Politics As Usual." As he compares himself to Pun as Termanology says, "I see myself as the holy resurrection of Pun/If I ain't that then you name one," he attempts to put himself on the map indefinitely. With a list of acclaimed producers on the album including DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Alchemist, Hi-Tek, Buckwild, Large Professor, Easy Mo Bee, Havoc, and Nottz, Termanology's debut album is one to be noticed in '08.
Although "Watch How It Go Down" was originally produced and released in 2006, it reappears in "Politics As Usual" as one of the more prevalent tracks of the album because it is ultimately what put Termanology out there. Backed by a DJ Premier beat and stellar lyrics, Termanology's "Watch How it Go Down" was featured in "The Source" magazine as his audience quickly grew from it. An oldie, but goodie, the track maintains its cred in 2008 while the message of awareness and political outrage are still very much existent today as he says,
"I see the cops and they grippin' they pistols trying put me in prison
So I listen to Pac's best and try to be not stressed
But how can I not stress the fact that I'm not rich
I'm livin' in poverty plus I'm a minority
Plus I'm a priority fucked in this economy
Rap music is probably not the best career you can choose
But hearin' my views like hearin' the news
So fear me if you skepticize homie but it's clearly the truth"
With a signature Premo beat that is a perfect example of timeless hip hop, "So Amazing" is a clever track that pays homage to famed musical artists while Termanology adds some humor and expresses his willingness to work with such names. His wit prevails as he says,
You should hit me up
Cause I can go to the Roc or Roc La Familia
Bring that stock up
You could stock up
On a couple platinum plaques, I throw the Roc up
Just some shit I thought up
But it probably works
So hit me if you need some quality work...
Who you know makes in a turn, riddle me this
If you don't say Rakim, you better say Kiss
Kool G or Pac
Anybody else, I put 'em up in the box
Lyrically, I'm the new AZ
Cause if I really wanted to, I could keep up with Nas"
In addition to Termanology's impressive rhyming skills in "Politics As Usual," featured artists such as Sheek Louch, Freeway, Prodigy, and Lil Fame drop heavy lyrics throughout the album while adding some variation it all. UGK's Bun B makes an appearance in "How We Rock," the second single released from "Politics As Usual." DJ Premier lays down a smooth beat reminiscent of his classic works that include clean samples and scratches as Termanology makes a smooth transition with his rhymes. As Termanology shows what his place is in the rap game, Bun B can't help but incorporate his own political input with election day closing in as he says, "Term, you already know it's Obama '08."
As Termanology incorporates old school production throughout "Politics As Usual," one of the more new school producers, Nottz supplies the beat for a couple of tracks and in the end, both the beat and lyrics fall a little short. Although "Please Don't Go" is not one of those crooning love songs, it was very close to it. The female vocals featured on the track during the chorus wails a rather bothersome tune as Termanology lacks in his lyricism describing how he doesn't have time for his lady because of his busy music career. I've never really been a fan of heartbreak and love songs on a rap album and this just reinforces it even further.
Termanology's "Politics As Usual" exceeds my expectations for his debut album. With a rather impressive lineup of production and rhymes that have only grown since I last heard him in "Hood Politics IV," he is definitely on to something good. As his persistence and dedication are clearly visible, it is realistic that his talents can potentially bring him up in the ranks similar to that of prime rap artists.
Music Vibes: 8 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 7 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 7.5 of 10
Originally posted: November 4, 2008