Vinnie Paz from Jedi Mind Tricks has been in my playlists for several years now. Most recent “End of Days” has been one of the tracks I’ve been bumping alot. I like the fact that Vinnie Paz talks alot about conspiracy theories, government influence and “the man”. He’s also got an ability to find real tight beats to spit over. Personally I think his delivery is not the best, at least not when trying to do slow love-songs and such, but it goes well with certain types of songs. “God of the serengeti” was released in october of 2012 and for me, it was one of the albums I was anticipating the most in 2012.
1. Shadow of the Guillotine (featuring Q-Unique) Produced by: DJ Lethal
Half of the first track is a quote from some movie, with some guy saying he is your king… Once the track gets going Vinnie Paz and Q-Unique are spitting what basically is battle lyrics, talking about how great they are and how people want to stop them etc. I basically view this as an intro…
2. Slum Chemist Prod: C-Lance
“Who knows what the f*ck God wants?” and “You ask for forgiveness but you should ask why” are two representative quotes from this song. Vinnie P’s talking about a variaty of things but I think the essance of the song is that everybodys reality is different and what is right and wrong is defined by the individuals own conception of the same, because who really knows what the f*ck God wants? The beat’s pretty repetative but as a whole it’s a pretty good track.
3. The Oracle Prod: DJ Premier
We all know what DJ Premier can do so I had high expectations on this track. Unfortunately, production could be better… Vinnie P’s rapping about himself, innanet thugz, b*tches and other stuff that irritates him. Basically an other battle rap track. I can dig it, but it’s average…
4. And Your Blood Will Blot Out the Sun (featuring Immortal Technique & Poison Pen) Prod: Tony Kenyatta
Vinnie Paz and Immortal Technique has a similar style and go real well together. They are joined by Poison Pen on this track even though I’m not sure which part he does since I only hear two verses. I guess he could be doing the hook. Vinnie and Immortal Technique is talking about the world, injustices of the world and how the world is ruled by crazy dictators. I like it. The beat is really tight with some sample playing over a tight drumbeat.
5. Last Breath (featuring Baby Pun & Whispers) Prod: C-Lance
Vinnie’s going for the radio with this one. “Last Breath” has a real catchy hook and beat. Just like “And Your Blood…” it has a really good sample and drumbeat as base for the track. This time some other instruments has been added as well making it even more radio friendly. I wouldn’t say Vinnie Paz sold out though. It’s not like he’s singing a hook with Brittany Spears or something… Anyway, as the title implies this song is about death and what these rappers would give their last breath for. It’s a really deep track, and I really believe that listeners of Vinnie Paz should take the time to hear what he’s got to say.
6. Crime Library (featuring Blaq Poet) Prod: Marco Polo
“Crime Library” is basically a story about different types of crimes. What impresses me most about this track is the mixing. I rarely even think about how a track is mixed but this has a really good sound image and I can’t wait to bump this in my car. That kind of saves the track which would have been pretty boring if it wasn’t for that.
7. Feign Submission (Interlude) Prod: JBL the Titan
I’m not sure why this is called an interlude when the first track of the album is not. Some kid is talking for 30 secs and then Vinnie starts rapping over a sample. It’s a pretty good sample and Vinnie catches on to it.
8. Duel to the Death (featuring Mobb Deep) Prod: Stu Bangas
Mobb Deep seems to be connected to a certain melodramatic type of music. This adds on to that stereotype. I’m not sure how well Vinnie’s fitting in on this type of track but it’s a typical Mobb Deep track and they are usually pretty good…
9. Problem Solver (featuring Scarface) Prod: The Arcitype
“Problem Solver” has a tight beat and legendary featuring as Scarface is making a guest appearance. I can bump this track alot, but it’s not memorable in any way. Vinnie P and Scarface is talking about how good they are, what they’ve seen etc. I can dig it…
10. Battle Hymn (featuring Apathy, King Syze, Crypt the Warchild, Jus Allah, Esoteric, Blacastan, Celph Titled & Planetary) Prod: Mr. Green
Another battle rap track by Vinnie Paz. Another tight sample. Another tight beat. I’m going to bump this in the future.
11. Geometry of Business (featuring La Coka Nostra) Prod: Havoc
Vinnie Paz knows how to find good beats, that’s for sure. Here he’s teaming up with La Coka Nostra on a Havoc beat to deliver a really nice track. The beat gets a little bit repetitive but that’s ok.
12. Jake LaMotta Prod: Illinformed
After alot of guests it’s time for a solo track from Vinnie. I really like the funk inspired beat. For those who doesn’t know, Jake LaMotta was a boxer nicknamed “The Raging Bull” or “The Bronx Bull” portrayed by Robert de Niro in 1980 movie “Raging Bull”. In this track, Vinnie P’s saying that he’s like the bull from Bronx.
13. 7 Fires of Prophecy (featuring Tragedy Khadafi) Prod: Beatnick Dee
Tragedy Khadafi is, just like Vinnie Paz and Immortal Technique, known for texts about society, society structure and power structure in the world and in the United States. However, this song doesn’t have a clear message. They’ve felt pain in their lives and you shouldn’t mess with them. You’re not ready…
14. Cheesesteaks Prod: Psycho Les
“Cheesesteaks” is another solo track with a really nice beat. This far, the beats are really holding this album. Vinnie’s got some nice lines as he’s mixing battle-like rhymes with points and lessions from his life.
15. Cold, Dark, and Empty (featuring FT & Smoke) Prod: Jack of All Trades
Vinnie, FT and Smoke are spitting fire over this powerful beat from Jack of All Trades. I really like the intensity that these rappers are delivering on this track. This is a tight track!
16. Razor Gloves (featuring R.A. the Rugged Man) Prod: MTK
Here Vinnie’s rapping about how he’s the God of the serengeti. Both beat and delivery is kind of repetative at a first listen of the track, but once I’ve bumped this a few times I’m getting into it. R.A. the Rugged Man is providing a really good addition to this track and album.
17. Wolves Amongst the Sheep (featuring Kool G Rap & Block McCloud) Prod: C-Lance
Block McCloud is a hook machine. I can’t believe more rappers hasn’t discovered him to use him in hooks. Instead of a boy-like singing he’s got a raw touch to his voice which makes the hooks less teeny and more…. raw. Any rapper reading this should get him on a few hooks. The track itself isn’t a highlight of this album but it’s okay. Vinnie and Kool G Rap are doing their thing and as the title indicates they’re talking about wolves among the sheep. The sheep is the peoble, but who are the wolves?
18. You Can’t Be Neutral On a Moving Train Prod: C-Lance, JBL the Titan
Finally, Vinnie’s doing one of the thing he does best – political rap. “You can’t be neutral on a moving train” means you can’t be neutral while alot of sh*t happens in our society. The track’s based on a really tight sample and delivery as well as the stories are top notch. One of the highlights of this album.
Overall, I was a little disappointed with this album. I expected Vinnie Paz to step up another notch from “Season of the Assassin” and if he would’ve done that this album could’ve been a classic. But even though I’m a little disappointed I have to admit it is a really solid album. Tracks like “Last Breath”, “Battle Hymn” and “You can’t be neutral on a moving train” are really good tracks that anyone should check out. I’ll still bump this album and anticipate Vinnie P’s next release, but I’ll be hoping for more politically inspired lyrics as I think Vinnie does that really well.
If you like Lil Wayne or if you’re excited when your favourite rapper has Brittany Spears featuring on a song, this album is not for you. If you like Jedi Mind Tricks and Vinnie Paz, or similar music, you should definitely check this out. I rate this album 3,5 out of 5.