Unpredictable Ipecac Records takes a different direction here with an old-school, lo-fi release from foul-tongued Brooklyn rapper Sensational and assorted buds. Originally known as Torture, Sensational teamed with the respected Jungle Brothers crew when he was only 15 and has since taken an offroad path to the hip-hop game, one that stays somewhat aesthetically pure and less full of shit.
Using an eight-track, a drum machine and a microphone, Sensational spits blurry, bass-heavy rhymes over funky beats that, although they may sound amateurish to some, maintain a hard-hitting flow too real for the P. Diddies of the world. The beats are heavy and direct with sparse keyboard accompaniment, while the lyrics conjure up a sidewalk battle more than the studio polish of mass-produced popular rap.
This is Sensational’s fourth full-length album and follows the critically acclaimed Heavyweighter (Wordsound). If you’re in the mood for raw, unpolished hip-hop that’s a bit on the dark side (think RZA’s stark Ghost Dog work), this is worth a listen. Especially good is the interplay with female guest Ambience ("Let Me Be," with its catchy refrain, "I want you to lick my clit, so I can suck yo dick." I think I heard a Pixies sample in there, too ("Sound Tuned Proper").