So much time passed between the third and fourth installments of the Soul Assassins series that I genuinely thought it had come to an end, even though volume three was called “Intermission.” That would certainly imply Lawrence Muggerud b/k/a DJ Muggs had more up his sleeve, but it took nine years to release “Dia del Asesinato.” It also might have been less epic than fans of the series were expecting after so long, clocking in under 30 minutes long, with 11 songs and one throwaway outro.
Despite that the level of bombastic raps and dirty production elevates it far beyond mediocrity. The sinister guitars are well matched with the sinister bars of Meyhem Lauren on “Niggas Is Pussy.” The late great MF DOOM collaborates with Muggs and Kool G. Rap on the epic title track “Assassination Day,” making one wish this trio could have done a full fledged album. Speaking of DOOM, I always thought Madlib was the number one producer to work with either him or Freddie Gibbs, but Muggs is out to prove me wrong by putting them both on “Death Wish.”
The soul stealer of Soul Assassins IV though may be “Contagion Theory.” The name seems to almost foreshadow the pandemic, and the sound is certainly lo-fi music to quarantine at home by. Muggs strips away the bass and even the percussion, letting Mach-Hommy float entirely over horny horns. When I say that “Dia del Asesinato” is too short this song is precisely what I mean. Muggs only gives us two minutes and change here. I want MORE.
Based on certain playlists you’ll find on the internet, it almost feels like this album was originally intended to be a Muggs x DOOM collaboration, only the reclusive Daniel Dumile could barely be brought out of hiding just to drop a few bars so Muggs repackaged it as a Soul Assassins album. That’s just a hunch. As with so many things about DOOM you’ll never be able to prove it one way or the other and he’s not around to ask about it any more. I can see his fans buying this DJ Muggs release just to hear more hidden gems, but hopefully they stick around for the other jewels too.