AllOne – “No One Up” / “Z-Less Z-Lister” Feat. KAVI

 AllOne – “No One Up” / “Z-Less Z-Lister” Feat. KAVI

AllOne – “No One Up” / “Z-Less Z-Lister” Feat. KAVI – Singles Review

There are no one-ups!”  #Truth

If you read my review on AllOne way back in 2021 for a single called “Don’t We?,” you’ll remember I had pretty much nothing but great stuff to say about this legendary emcee in the making.  In fact, if you had a listen for yourself, you probably felt just as stoked about what AllOne creates as I did, because how could ya not?  I said it before and I’ll say it again, this dude truly gets it on levels that others never will.

So…even though it’s been a significant amount of time since we last had AllOne on our pages, I can confirm that the least surprising piece of news I might have for you in 2024 is that this artist still has it all completely goin’ on.  Listening to this guy tackle his bars with such supreme precision and versatility on “No One Up” as I started checking out what he’s been up to lately was nothing but a genuine treat for the ears…the confidence…the pivoting…the shifting of gears…the word selection, imagery, and attention to detail in his lyricism…everything is right where we left it and it’s clear that AllOne hasn’t lost a step since the last time we heard from the man.  The most you’re gonna find me conceding to ya is that I felt like he’s taking a bit of a chance with the production on “No One Up,” which is provided by Dope Knife – there’s a fair amount of ambient sound in the mix, but if you’re paying close attention to this track, you’ll know it’s there on purpose, that just doesn’t happen to make it any less risky when it comes to the court of public opinion.  We’re talkin’ about intelligent rhymes that sound like they’re coming to ya straight from the streets, traffic and trains included…so yeah…don’t get me wrong, I can hear the intent behind the moves being made here, but by the same token I know how often this kind of decision can tend to be misinterpreted by those not listening close enough, you feel me?  So do the right thing y’all – pay some freakin’ attention whilst you’re absorbing this Hip-Hop mogul’s words on “No One Up” and you’ll appreciate why it has been put together the way that it has.  AllOne is consistently movin’ with the words he spits and the vivid imagery he describes, so it’s seriously only fair that we keep movin’ along with him, whether that’s by train or car or hoverboard…stick with the man – you’ll love it.  He’s been “Pacmanning through the township grid” – and I’m here for it!  In fact, I’d go as far as to say I genuinely wish everyone out there rockin’ the m-i-c in the Hip-Hop genre brought such exciting verses to their work – it’d definitely make my life a whole lot easier and my speakers that much happier.  Alas, we know that’s not the case, but on the bright side of the scenario, that’s what makes an artist like AllOne so damn special and helps easily set him apart from the rest.  I LOVE the way this guy raps…I love the words he chooses, I love the way his natural rhythm & metering weaves like Kyrie Irving on the court – AllOne has verbal handles that practically can’t be touched y’all…he’s “potent…passionate,” and you can feel it. Bonus points for the addictive bass-lines on “No One Up” & the daring choice to fade out a Hip-Hop cut.

“Z-Less Z-Lister” is also produced by Dope Knife, who sets the record straight with more clarity in the production of this second track, which will prove the point I was making about the extra ambience you’ll find on “No One Up.”  This second single also features an assist from the talents of KAVI on the mic as well, and dude has no problem holding his own.  Honestly, I feel like I’d have been shocked to find anything otherwise…it’d be strange to hear an emcee as formidable as AllOne decide to enlist someone that couldn’t keep up, so rest assured, the quality stays consistent across the board as they trade the mic.  I suppose the main question becomes about how “Z-Less Z-Lister” compares to something like “No One Up” when we’ve got two tracks on our list here back-to-back.  I’ll say this – ultimately, I feel like the artwork you’ll see up top somewhat says what I would…”No One Up” would be the main single for sure, but I don’t feel like there’s a whole lot anyone out there could take away from this second track either.  I think there’s a lot more freedom within the Conscious Hip-Hop realm anyway, you know what I mean?  Sure hooks are important to any track in any genre – but those are not necessarily the most important ingredient in this particular style of music – you’re tuning in for content, skill, and uniqueness above all when it comes to this category, and you’ll find this collaborative effort is more than willing to supply.  If anything, I feel like while the sound of a song like “Z-Less Z-Lister” would arguably be brighter than what you’d probably find someone like Prev-1 rockin’ in Swollen Members, there’s a very comparable level of skill being put forth that keeps everyone listening through the clever choices being made with every single syllable you’ll hear being spit.  Where the main differences between that comparison would be found, are likely in the more lighthearted personality of the main star of the show – AllOne has a strong presence on the mic that you genuinely want to cheer for, and the kind of authenticity that’ll straight up knock you out – but don’t mistake lighthearted for soft…this dude stands on business like a giant ready to stomp out your humble village.  Something like “Z-Less Z-Lister” would probably end up getting AllOne compared more closely to content you’d find on Blackalicious records…and that’s the kind of incredible company you’d certainly wanna be keeping.  KAVI keeps the standards up high, Dope Knife ensures the beat is equally enticing at all times…and all-in-all, you can’t argue with bulletproof results like these when you hear’em – you can’t lose with either of these singles.  AllOne is obviously still at the top of his game, sounding as hungry, determined, and on-point as ever as he surges right into his prime.

The No One Up EP arrives officially this June 7th – stay connected with AllOne at this handy multi-link right here:

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