Monday, February 23, 2009

B Real - Smoke & Mirrors

Cypress Hill have been off my radar for a while now. I'd heard the recent singles and solo stuff, but nothing really stuck in my mind as being all that remarkable, so when I heard that B Real was dropping a solo record on Duck Down, I was a little taken aback.  They are definitely OG West Coast by this point and probably sell more records than I would expect, but with all apologies and respect due to the Duck Down and Soul Assassin cliques, I wouldn't put much stock in a B Real solo record in 2009.

Well, wrong again for this asshole. Smoke & Mirrors is pretty decent. Unlike a lot of older rhymers, B has kept his flow and his choice of beats relevant while neatly avoiding sounding like an out-of-touch old-timer. He produces a couple of the tracks here, spreading the rest amongst Soopafly, Scoop Deville, and his old buddy The Alchemist, among others. There are a good number from someone called J. Turner, too, if you keep track of such things. Smoke & Mirrors features a healthy amount of guest shots from Snoop, Too Short, Xzibit and others, including new boss Buckshot and Damien Marley. The Marley collabo is a no-brainer, not surprisingly a reggae-driven number, but one that is notable for featuring B's Spanish flow.  Everything here is well-produced, most of the beats are pretty banging and B. Real comes with the fire most of the time. And smoke, I'd assume. 

Keep track on B Real's day to day (including the weed smoking competition that seems to be brewing amongst the Soul Assassins/Snoop/DipSet camps) here. Smoke & Mirrors is out tomorrow. Pick from the good folk of Duck Down here.


1 comment:

kats said...

The prospects of a smoke-off between rap camps is tremendous. The best twist on beef in years...