Gage One the Conqueror :: Dead Angel/The Gospel EP :: Metal Barz Records
as reviewed by Pedro 'DJ Complejo' Hernandez

"Gage One's style is post-apocalyptic, prophetic hip hop from Boston."

Gage One's CDBaby page gives you all the introduction you will need to his music. Quick and to the point, one could easily dismiss the man for one of many rappers churning out dark, dense raps. One's attention is grasped once more when the guest rapper is announced. None other than Wu-Affiliate Holocaust is heavily featured on Gage One's debut release. Holocaust appears on 4 out of 8 songs on this EP. Before one gets too impressed, realize that this EP is more accurately a maxi single. Maxi singles went out of style years ago, as did multiple remixes of the same song. With the EP making a resurgence lately, it's appropriate that Gage One is attempting to resurrect the maxi-single. This particular EP/Maxi-Single features 3 songs and 5 remixes.

Holocaust is featured on "Dead Angel" and each of the three remixes. Holocaust matches up quite well with Gage One's style and the dark beat still has a rugged boom bap feel to it. The original stays true to Gage One's description as he drops dark rhymes over a dark beat:

"Direct from the desolate lands
A sword and a pistol in the conqueror's hand
Monsters in the sand, set the booby trap
Stomp with the robots
Tech would peel your face back
Rusty old cannon pointed at your barracks
Give up the goods now or sulk with the spirits
Red clouds and mustard gas, post apocalyptic
Drag your body through the center of town and let the children kick it
Another one's infected, kill em all for days
I'm a nomad now, once known as Gage
I know cannibals and holy men
Lay your bones on the altar and say a prayer right over them
Golden olden hymns, baggy clothes in the desert
There's caverns on the ground, that's where the criminals network
Countless people died, missiles in the sky
The people slept while government crept to cover up the lies
Doom and demise in a young child's eyes
Older folks sick of SARS, skin peeling down while the flicking off the flies
Welcome to my world, kick your shoes off and step inside"

The first remix finds DJ Extremidiz giving "Dead Angel" a rock influenced remix that is slower than the original. After that, the additional remixes don't give the track a different spin, instead keep the same vibe of the original. "The Gospel" is the second original track on the EP and walks along similar lines. Gage One's style consists if dark and abstract one liners that paint a certain picture and set a certain tone. The "Flesh of My Flesh" remix is the second remix of "The Gospel" and actually flips things a little with Prophet-One dropping a mellow, but not necessarily dark, beat. It gives the EP a little variety, which is missing for the most part on the EP. The last original track is "Black Out" and keeps up with the same style and theme.

Gage One shows promise, but the EP does not show nearly enough variety to give him a recommendation either way. If you are a fan of the darker, esoteric rap styles of Holocaust then Gage One will be right up your alley. In small doses, each song is entertaining but not spectacular. The idea of a maxi-single styled EP is novel, but ultimately most of the remixes add nothing to the track and do not change the vibe. Instead, the remixes tend to sound like different demos. Gage One would have been better served either crafting entirely new songs to those beats, or making sure each remix provided something markedly different from the others.

Music Vibes: 5 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 5 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 5 of 10

Originally posted: July 21, 2009