various artists :: Pohectic: The Second Chapter :: Pohectic Records
as reviewed by Patrick Taylor

Pohectic Records is a Dallas-based independent hip hop label founded by Prynce P. This compilation has been in the works for six years, and showcases the label's stable of artists and producers. The rappers include Prynce P., CO2, Charmz, Meezy, and Antimeini. They are backed up by guests J-Sha, HeadKrack, T-Rawn, K-Rino, Krystal Romo, Mr. Pookie, Mr. Lucci, Wok Wok, DJ KB, DJ Tech-Neek, Psycho Reyez, Nutt-So, Point Blank, and Stigg Dog. Pohectic producer Crunkie handles most of the beats, with some help from Latti, Woody, and DJ Tarp.

The album starts off with the anthem "Crushed Dreamz," which has J-Sha, Prynce P, Meezy, and CO2 rapping about the struggles of the streets backed by a dramatic Crunkie beat built around an electric guitar lick. "Back of the Trunk" sees HeadKrack, T-Rawn, K-Rino, and DJ Tech-Neek bragging about their mixtape sales over a Latti beat with skittering high hat. From there the disc takes a trip to the club: "Work 'Em Back," "Is This What You Wanted" and "D.F.W." are all raunchy Southern club tracks. "Work 'Em Back" gives shout outs to the ladies - any ladies. It's nice to know that they are equal opportunity:

"Do you wanna bust quick or do you wanna ooze
Do you wanna have one, how bout two?
Would you rather have me or all of my crew
Yes I'm 22 doing what I do
Loving all skin types, red, white, and blue
You could be a midget and I'd love you too
Skinny things or chunky, I love all of you!"

"Mad at Me" takes its production cues from DJ Screw, offering up a slowed down, chopped up beat. From there they move on to "Letting Go," a soulful track complete with organs, funky guitar, and a sung hook while K-Rino, Prynce P, and Kou spit lines about letting go. It's one of the stronger tracks on the album, and is immediately followed by one of the weakest, "Unforgettable Ni8." It's a dance-rap track about partying that's about as annoying as the spelling of "night" in the title. It's also the fourth club track on the compilation, which is about two too many since they all cover the same ground lyrically all sound similar.

The Pohectic crew is better when they are doing songs like "My Life," featuring Nutt-So, which allows them to get into deeper lyrical ground. The compilation ends on a strong note with "Where the Blind Can See," "Ei Kukaan," and "P.O.W." "Ei Kukaan" features rhymes and production by Finnish rapper Stigg Dog. If you are wondering what Finnish rapping sounds like, the answer it sounds sort of like Brazilian. The final song, "P.O.W." is also the strongest lyrically, with CO2 discussing a child growing up in Iraq. CO2's flow is a little sing-songy, and his rhymes aren't complicated, but they pack an emotional punch:

"The first word I learned was genocide
Couldn't have a normal childhood if I tried
Worried about all the bombs being dropped
Worried about my family being shot
Still to young to understand death
Day after day fewer of us left"

"The Second Chapter" is a good introduction to a crew that has been a long time coming. Not all of the beats are memorable, and not all of the rappers bring their A game to every track, but as a whole this is well-produced Texas rap that is solid if not totally inspiring. While some of it treads pretty familiar territory, songs like "Letting Go," "My Life," and "P.O.W." prove that this collective has some substance.

Music Vibes: 6 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 6 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 6 of 10

Originally posted: August 18, 2009