Mr. Freeze :: Righteous Path :: Mercy Counts/Long Range Distribution
as reviewed by Susan 'susiQ' Kim

[Righteous Path] Through emotion and life experiences, artists are compelled to express without limits. It is no different for Connecticut's Mr. Freeze. After the death of his sister, music was an outlet for his passion as he sought out underground and hardcore rap. He gradually learned to shape his writing and rap skills while forming rap group Code Orange in 2002. With the group not progressing, Freeze pursued a solo career and released his debut album "The Red Snow," full of aggression and hardcore elements.

With the birth of his daughter in 2008, Freeze decided to take a turn in his music with a sense of self-reflection and sharing the struggles of being a rap artist. Compiling all of his sentiment and morale, Freeze releases his sophomore album "The Righteous Path."

Since "Red Snow," Mr. Freeze has done a complete 180. He has taken on an entirely different approach with his music as he has become more introspective and more subtle in his methodology. In "Hell's Getting Hotter," Freeze says, "They said that I fell off and that I was never coming back. Then they said I turned gospel and my music was going to be super religious. They didn't know I was coming back this strong, yo. They do now."

Throughout "The Righteous Path," it almost seems as though Freeze is seeking redemption as he explains how he is now a "man not a poltergeist" in "A New Day." He goes on to shed light on the fact that:

"I step down from the dark
It's a new day
I'm a keep on with my life in a new way
Gotta think about the things that I say
Everybody living life in their own way...
And you wonder why they call me Mr. Freeze
I've been running from the past
since I've learned to fucking breathe"

It's clear that Freeze is recognizing an entirely different image with his positive nature, but seems as though he is fully embracing it. Upbeat and almost bubbly strings echo throughout "Wake to the Sun" as Freeze shows how he remains optimistic and makes sense out of his life while "The Life" explains his discovery through the years. Guitars initiate the title track as Freeze insists on following the "path of the righteous" as it has provided him with the dedication and hard work to persist.

Simple strings commence "The Journey" which sums up his battle with his music and life. Although the journey has been difficult, Freeze shows how he has stayed on target and has worked through obstacles in order to achieve greatness. Also, the production has grown to be more uncomplicated, yet it works. Freeze's lyrics are able to shine with this new subtle beat that seems refreshing in a sense. He has grown immensely in his skill and rhyming as the production seems fit.

In addition to his growing dedication and pensiveness, at the end of the day, Freeze is an emcee and doesn't go astray away from this idea. He validates his existence and explains how his skills are still unmatched compared to his competition. Although he knows his whole demeanor has changed, in "Have Mercy," he still claims he can "kill emcees," on the mic that is, and in "Bring it Back" Freeze shows he's still in attack mode when it comes to dropping rhymes. Remarkable production runs through "1, 2, 3" with its complexity yet retains fluidity from beginning to end. Here, Freeze once again shows the development of his delivery and threatens his competition to "put your mics down."

It's apparent that many may ask if Mr. Freeze has strayed away so much that he doesn't even fit into the horrorcore genre any longer. Although he has taken on a different line of attack with his music, the elements of horrorcore are still present. Freeze is still able to incorporate some rather violent rhymes amidst his newly found positive outlook in life. His descriptive nature still thrives, but it is clear he has grown as an artist as reflected by his increased perception and more polished rhymes. He may be criticized for being too "soft" or "gospel," but it seems as though Freeze is headed in the right direction with his music as he can now be taken more seriously and seems dedicated to his art. In his case, perhaps the righteous path is the precise path to follow.

Music Vibes: 7 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 8 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 7.5 of 10

Originally posted: February 23, 2010