A little over a year ago RR contributor Pedro 'DJ Complejo' Hernandez reviewed Supreme General's "Supremacy EP," which for all intents and purposes seems to have been his national debut. Hernandez was non-plussed about it though writing "the kid could do something big because he has all the tools to succeed and charisma to spare, but with generic/played out topics, it's hard to really give Supreme General a recommendation."
Fast forward to 2012 and Supreme General is back with a new free album available on DatPiff, though S.G. took the extra effort to send us a hard pressed copy on CD - respect for that. He also made sure to include a press kit, which for understandable reasons doesn't include any quotes from our less than glowing review. Amanda Miles says he posesses "an effortless execution of lyrical depth and vivid storytelling" while Lisa Ford wries that he "represented real life in Buffalo where all the soldiers march." Coming from the B actually helps S Geezy get a second chance, because having recently gotten up on Mad Dukez the idea Buffalo is an untapped hip-hop talent pool has been greatly reinforced.
Periodically samples weave in and out of the "Champions" mixtape which tie S Geezy to a far more infamous Supreme - known to the federal penitentiary as Kenneth McGriff. This makes the choice to rap over the "Shook Ones" instrumental for what he considers a "Part 3" odd to say the least, though perhaps nobody involved stopped to consider McGriff was convicted of attempting to have Mobb Deep affiliate E-Moneybags murdered. On a more personal note, I don't have a problem with anybody trying to freestyle over this instrumental (nearly everybody has - it's a hip-hop classic after all) but claiming it's "Part 3" is a bit suspect. Only Queensbridge's own can release a sequel to their legendary song. Here's an excerpt of the follow-up "These Streets":
"See now I got crews that'll move when I say so
Make your brain stain up your drapes and your windows
Then rob every single last one of your kinfolk
There is no end to the drama you in fo'
The Supreme Team leader, the General, the God
Transition experience witnessed only through my eyes…
These streets gave birth to 'Preem
It's only right that I rep it every breath I breathe"
I don't question that Supreme reps the streets of Buffalo to the best of his ability, but as Mr. Hernandez already noted, there's something about Supreme that doesn't click. There's a lot of chest puffing and posturing throughout this mixtape, from his prowess in the bedroom ("beat the pussy 'til it's blood red") to his penmanship ("scribing my rhymes with fire inside of brimstone") to his music being like football ("every song that I'm on a touchdown when I fling it"). At some point one wonders why every other line needs to be a reminder of how great he is - the truly great ones don't need to say it that many times. The song titles suggest what his words alone don't - for a Buffalo rapper he's actually a New York City gangster cliche. "1-900-HUSTLER," "Riot" and "I'm Going IN" all sound like they could have come from a Lloyd Banks mixtape, which I probably would have enjoyed more.
That leads to the other problem with Supreme General. Having given S Geezy every chance possible to impress me over the span of 55 minutes, "Lamborghini 'Preem" doesn't have a rap voice that reaches out and grabs my ears to demand their attenion. As often as not he raps in a deliberately understated way to make his gritty vocal tone sound more menacing, increasing in volume until he screams a key word or two like Onyx or M.O.P., but not achieving the impressive effect either one did on any of their hits. At some point it simply becomes tiresome to hear his husky tone make the same points over and over again - I'm so great, you know I'm so great, and ain't it so great how great I really am? I'm not saying he has to be a profound rapper or spit edutainment to be effective, but he'd be a lot better if he wasn't on his own dick so much. And thus, much like Pedro before me, I'm forced to conclude that while S Geezy has a lot of potential, this album represents potential wasted.
Music Vibes: 4.5 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 3.5 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 4 of 10
Originally posted: December 18th, 2012