Mindz I – iOmega – Album Review
Nothing like setting yourself up for an uphill battle within mere moments of a record beginning! It’s with saying that, that I wish nothing but the best of luck to Mindz I after calling out wack-rappers worldwide within the first thirty seconds for not being original enough. So…I mean…yeah…from here on in, I suppose it better be like, fucking crystal-clear just how different Mindz I is from EVERY other rapper out there in each and every one of these songs – or Mindz I has let no one down but himself. Without even hearing the record as of this moment – I can tell you that’s about the hardest approach that a rapper has taken in years and an argument that is probably made a lot more than Mindz I realizes without ever…not once…in my opinion…ever delivering on what they’ve promised. What’s new? The flow? The music? The idea of rap? The words & lyrics themselves? The beats? I’m not just picking on Mindz I – I’m absolutely picking on anyone that has the balls to claim their about the redefine the genre you’re about to listen to without being extremely outside the existing box. iOmega is a solid record – Mindz I is a solid rapper…these are facts that aren’t in dispute whatsoever. But redefining it all? I’d be the last person to lie to you as you already know here on our pages…and to claim that, is a stretch for sure…and I ain’t buyin it. Again – highly skilled for sure, innovative enough…but is this the album that changes your entire opinion or perception of what rap can be? I’m not so sure.
But let’s also face facts…if it wasn’t Mindz I that claimed to do this, it’d just be someone else. We all think we’re unique and beautiful snowflakes until we finally come to the harsh reality that, no – we’re actually not. We might last longer…we might shine brighter…we might take more effort to get rid of – but to truly redefine or reshape an entire genre is so entirely rare and yet claimed to be happening so often in Hip-Hop & Rap-music that it falls easily into that category of ‘if I had a dime for every time that someone tried to convince me they’re the savior of their genre…’ well…you get the rest of that statement I’m sure – I’d be quite a rich man.
Because of the competitive nature of Hip-Hop/Rap – being just ‘really damn good’ never seems to be good enough…seriously, what’s up with that? I understand wanting to be the best…I understand putting your heart & soul into something…but I also understand from a critical aspect that taking a step back and examining what’s being said and done on a record is pretty important as well. In Hip-Hop/Rap…an overzealous claim is bound to hurt your career more than help it as it sends the expectations through the roof when you’re more than likely to find out where the ceiling is very quickly on any given record. When, oh when, did it become such a bad thing to be really damn good, but perhaps acknowledge that there are probably others that are still kicking just as much, if not more ass out there? Rap music is a boastful bitch of a genre…and truthfully, I don’t get why it attempts at being so divisive and so much grander than it truly IS. And here we are, in perhaps an even worse position with Mindz I referring to the all-important third-eye, aka the unknown knowledge & intuition we all possess…implying that there are thought-processes and things happening that Mindz I can see that maybe we can’t. It’s risky – in every possible way I can imagine an album to be in what it’ll go on to claim throughout the “Intro.” Will you agree with what’s being said, boasted & claimed? I mean…in many ways I hope not? It’s hard to say…Mindz I packages this all well – highly skilled as I’ve mentioned…but you gotta get up REAL early in the morning to be able to fool me…I’ve had my third-eye open my entire life.
So I’m going to do Mindz I a HUGE solid here…and I’m NOT going to judge this album regarding its quest to redefine the genre or I may as well stop right now. What I will do…is continue to express the quality and skillset of Mindz I as being of an incredibly high-caliber…I don’t blame him for boasting & pumpin’ his own tires…the genre is built on that very ingredient. But if that’s the case and I’m right…well…then that there goes a long, long way to point out just how similar this would be to other Rap/Hip-Hop music than it would be unique already, doesn’t it? Let’s just judge this and comment on his good it may/may not be…I’m not ready to play the revolutionary card here just yet…
Not surprisingly to me, once you take away the attempts at superiority and just examine it for what it is in a much more humble light – I found this was about 100% easier to enjoy than trying to sit here & figure out if I was indeed listening to the Muhammed Ali of Rap-music. On “Godz I” – you get a better sense of Mindz I and what this is all about…the frustrations of competing with the fake out there that enjoy the privilege of being on the same frontline & marching forward. Solid beat and solid flow – theirs is zero-doubt about that. What Mindz I is doing is certainly catchy…just not sure if he’s overselling the brain-food aspect of the record at this point in.
I think that “The Pulsar Cannon” is where the genius of Mindz I starts to truly reveal itself. When you listen to how these words connect and flow together – you can hear the masterful grip on the mic; moments like this absolutely have you convinced that Mindz I could be as game-changing as the words so often claim to be. In “The Pulsar Cannon” – Mindz I isn’t dwelling on the whole ‘how good he is’ or ‘how influential’ or ‘how game-changing’ this all is…it’s much more straight ahead here than trying to convince us through direct words that he’s the best. “The Pulsar Cannon” is every bit the audible proof that you need to hear to know that REAL rap, REAL skill and REAL talent don’t NEED to tell you about it every second line…sometimes talent can speak for itself, just like this track does. I know we’ve all gotta write about something…and I truly don’t believe that any one subject is any more important than the next – but I do believe that when you’re really in the flow, the last thing you’ll ever need to do is make the words echo the aftermath of the skills themselves. If it’s every bit as good as you think it is – believe me, we ALL know it from hearing it…words would only be an oversell and the last part of the equation that would lead to anyone being truly convinced over what their ears can actually absorb for themselves. So yeah…props to Mindz I on “The Pulsar Cannon” – there’s still a little bit of the verbal flexing of muscles – but for the most part, this track has got its head-down and is doing all the work just by maintaining the focus and doing what it does.
“Visual Metaphors (God Fist 4×4)” would be right up there with “The Pulsar Cannon” for me…and its right around here that Mindz I is beginning to change my own perspective. As he leaves behind the typical-frontage of the lyrics once again for the most part to really keep those words coming uniquely at us on “Visual Metaphors (God Fist 4×4)” – it’s right around this point in the album that a lot of the lyrics I’d associate with a more juvenile attitude find their maturity. Between “The Pulsar Cannon,” “Visual Metaphors (God Fist 4×4)” and “Master Of The Universal Ceremony” – it began to at least feel like the focus had shifted into what Mindz I does best, which is focus. When this dude is writing about any given subject, he’s found clever ways to bring the flow together sharply with words twisting, turning and finding their way to the metering of the music both perfectly and uniquely. Best of all…for people that are truly ‘in the know’ and have their pulse on the growing movement in awakening social consciousness…then you’ll hear the hidden message at the end of “Master Of The Universal Ceremony.” I’m a firm believer in anything random being awesome in life – but also quite often, you’re hearing a clue to something more when something comes at you from left field like this. In short – unless the specific numerical value chosen to be mentioned at the end of “Master Of The Universal Ceremony” is somehow completely random (which there is like, NO chance of this being possible) – then you’ve got another message direct from the Mindz I to your expanding social consciousness right here and an invitation to climb aboard the Mindz I mothership to rock this planet into something really incredible. Some of us out there fully hear that call when it’s expressed…and for many of you, this entire paragraph will be full of you wondering W.T.F. – and that’s okay. That’s what you call depth in music…sometimes you have to dig a little to find all the info you want and understand what an artist truly has to say.
The shaolin-style beat and groove of “King Of The Jungle” will remind you of the Wu-Tang as Mindz I takes you even further into the insight and perspective behind the music. There is no doubt about the Mindz I gift with wordage – dude can string together some pretty damn incredible flows and the hypnotic grind of “King Of The Jungle” really puts some highlight work into the verse & chorus. Great production, great ideas…definitely a solid cut from Mindz I here. I don’t know if it needs to be said more than I have already – but have a listen to “Open Your Third Eye” and you’ll get an idea of what I’m talking about when mentioning the Mindz I gift with words. He ain’t exactly taking three & four letter words into his music here – he’s armed with damn near the entire dictionary and the more syllables that a word might have simply represents more opportunity for Mindz I to impress, bounce from and feed off of. Complete with some truly rad samples and probably a more direct message or mission-statement than any other song on the record, “Open Your Third Eye” is as interesting as it is potentially helpful or informative to anyone out there wondering where they’d even find their third eye to begin with!
“The Joker” might have also been a favorite of mine…though arguably in a way you get a little less of Mindz I on this one than you do in others…just depends on how you look at it. I’ve long stated that mixtape artists like Mindz I tend to express themselves even more through the samples they chose than the words they spit themselves – and I think that holds true throughout these final three tracks as the use of samples increases – but so does the strength of the points, stories and morals behind the music of Mindz I here on iOmega.
And with saying that – you’ll also notice the strength behind the words of Mindz I as the strength of the samples increases as well. The more those samples seem to speak, the more backup that Mindz I seems to feel for the words, and in a track like “Mysteries Of The Gods” he’ll end the record with some of his boldest tie-ins and phrases to make this full picture and scope of what he’s attempting to achieve become clear. Does it break all the ground he’s looking to move with this final track…still not quite sure about that overall, but it does make for a completely satisfying ending to what’s truly been an entertaining ride. I think the knowledge bombs you’ll find throughout this record come at you from another level altogether…and that perhaps even I’m missing a part of what’s truly happening on iOmega – but that’s what they make repeat listens for – and what Mindz I has created on iOmega is certainly worth many a listen. There’s a great thing started here…and with a little more focus on what he can do with it and a little less focus on simply stating what we can hear already as far as his skills or pushing the boundaries of Hip-Hop/Rap are concerned…could really have found a leader in the genre potentially.
But like anything to do with true leadership…the last thing you should have to do is consistently tell us all that you’re leading the way…the example will serve to be more than enough on its own and I think that Mindz I is at his best when concentrating on the rhymes themselves rather than selling us a story we can clearly understand already. The guy’s got skillz – no doubt – and I can tell you that there’s not a single word on this record that he’s said that has convinced me of that more than HOW he’s approached those words and rapped them into the mic on this record.
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