Phil G – Phillanoise [Review]
Remember the barbecues, rooftop parties, jams at the park where DJs and boom boxes as entertainment provided the sweet tunes of Eric B and Rakim, Run DMC, LL Cool J, AZ,to Nas? Can you rewind to that era when the powerful force of hip-hop bind people together to address seismic societal changes before a great divide? Have you recalled hip-hop having classics such as “The Bridge Is Over,” “Hey Young World,” “I Used To Love H.E.R,” “Mass Appeal” to “Can It Be All So Simple”? Reminisce when hip-hop stood for something before pimping and perversion took place? If you think those days of past are over, then you find yourself absurdly foolish. Though it seems like the good days are of old, it is the underground that keeps hip-hop’s most treasured moments in time capsule.
It is Chicago’s finest Phil G and Jay Illa that push‘80s and ‘90s hip-hop spectrum to the forefront. The lyric, “My swagger is ’95 in 2014” not only suggest sufficient evidence, but gives a glimpse to what this collaborative effort Phillanoise has to offer- the scholarship of lustrous raps, bedlam lyricism, earthy storytelling, microphone control with soul, and gritty talent.
“(Intro) Phillanoise” is three things in song. It is rebellious, uncensored, yet cocky. It best intimidates and bullies conformists and shitty cult nonlinguistic and stuttering rappers to a coma. Foremost, the song’s calls for a new takeover to take place- a second coming of the Golden Age. “Nothing We Can Do”, exemplifies this second coming with lyrics that combat, “My team is strong/My dreams are born/ My heart is pure/My art is war.” The song’s exclusivity stems from its braggadocious-up-in-your-face approach and the duo trading verses with such finesse.
Phillanoise is powerful for its production provided by the Golden Era ambassador Rashid Hadee, who not only leaves a dent on the album but unbearable collision to hip-hop. The soulfulness in sound plays with listeners’ emotions and recalls for great memories, transporting hip-hop heads through time. Artistry is mastered with immense grace in “Give It To Me (Give Up The Goods)”, a single that creatively pays homage to Mobb Deep similar in song title and concept to their 1995 Infamous album. “F.Y.M (F^^k You Mean)” the better half of the album, verbally assaults anyone who contest Phil G’s disposition as a loving father, devoted husband, and as an underground lyricist. Here, Phil G shines the brightest flexing his lyrical muscle with laid back flow and much command, “Power in my word/Power in my voice/I make them feel the noise (Phillanoise)/They don’t have a f^^king choice.”
The songs “Stressed Out” and “Still” complement each other. What is adored about the songs is their high power surge infused with God honest spirit. The soulful piano tune “Stressed Out” is soaked with perfect storytelling of a husband/father coping with baby mother drama. Phil G’s baritone voice and the sounds of rain in the beginning and end of song signify love’s struggles, pain, and sacrifice. With “Still,” Phil G channels his inner LL Cool J as he still is devoted to rekindling his love for her (an attribute replaced by mainstream hip-hop with misogyny) despite relationship’s many flaws. The song is powerful when directed from the heart. Who said hip-hop didn’t have a heart?
The duo carry the same spirits as their hip-hop forefathers who paved the way for hip-hop artists such as Jay Illa and Phil G as they do things out of “Love.” Indeed, it is proven they have love for the genre and for the art form by delivering a masterpiece despite having endured music industry politics.
Production to Phillanoise is the illest; penmanship on the album is Illwrite!Phil G and Jay Illa pullout body bags for hip-hop enormous body count.
-Hector De La Rosa