Judging by Spotify, I've been sleeping on Ransom. I'm not alone either, as Ransom has not had a single review by RapReviews. Having known about Ransom for a few years now, I've always dismissed him as just another street rapper, regularly found on fellow street rapper projects dropping verses that are reliable more than anything. With "The Proposal", Ransom has acquired some strong production that adds immensely to his street mentality and street is exactly what this record represents, utilising Statik's ability to combine powerful piano loops with crashing snares.
"The Proposal" remains authentically engrained in the hood, with struggle and pain common themes. Given Ransom's name, there are few mentions of money other than the constant chase for paper which inevitably pops up on many rap records. This record is hard in the vein of Blaq Poet and Ruste Juxx, but also borders on bland. Even the lighter moments are still drenched in the hardcore mentality Ransom embodies, with "Jade" ensuring nobody picks up "The Proposal" expecting the Ryan Reynolds film in audio form.
"Jade" is actually based around the topic of sex, but is still bogged down in overbearing threats. It feels less like angry sex and more like the thoughts of a rapist. Perhaps the best track is "Outcast" which boasts some cinematic piano work and Ea$y Money's appearance makes Ransom up his intensity levels to Freddie Foxxx levels. Speaking of legendary hardcore figures in rap, Styles P swings by on "It's Ransom" to provide a suitably intimidating hook, and Ransom offers up a brooding presence with increased intensity. Statik's production suits Ransom more than ever here, but could have benefitted further from a Styles P verse.
"The Proposal" is standard hood rap that's delivered in a polished manner and despite Statik's efforts, there is a lack of identity throughout the record. Ransom gives it his all yet doesn't really ever say anything profound, which is a shame given Ransom has been around for a minute. You can tell he takes this rap game serious with songs like "I Do" proclaiming he is married to the game. Just don't expect anything other than that tried and trusted "hood shit", which while unremarkable, still throws up some passionate street stories when coupled with Statik Selektah's more intense beats.
Music Vibes: 6.5 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 5.5 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 6 of 10
Originally posted: November 5th, 2013