Soul Position - 8,000,000 Stories
"We got beats unlimited, rhymes unlimited, styles unlimited, now that we got ya listening." With the solo careers of Ohio's Rjd2 and Blueprint both taking off, it is no surprise that their coming together has turned some heads. Last year's "Unlimited EP" was tremendously received and at just 23 minutes it left listeners fiending for more. A year, and some more solo joints later, 8 million stories are ready to be told.
Since last year Rj's stock has continued to rise and as a result his resume has grown (Murs, Weathermen, Aceyalone, Cage, MF Doom, Babbletron, Diverse, Project Blowed, Massive Attack). But Blueprint is the first emcee to get an entire LP of Rj's brilliance. Be prepared for a surprise though, for the most part Rj replaces his usual commanding, show-stealing instrumentals with very understated, subtle beats. Given Print's boisterous voice acting like an instrument itself, Rj adds the perfect compliments.
"8,000,000 Stories" does not quite add up to the billing, but there are a number of fine tales told by Blueprint. "Jerry Springer Episode" is one of the finest as Print relates the story of him and his girl that is fit for, well, the Jerry Springer show. "No Excuse For Lovin'" is another story of a woman, but Print gets serious and tells a great story of Rj's beautiful production (with a classic chorus from him to boot). On both "Survival" and "Run" Print tackles some prevalent issues in the inner city but is over shadowed by some phenomenal production in both cases. "Fuckajob" isn't all the different from everyone who bitches about the 9 to 5 these days, but the KRS interpolation is a nice touch.
"Printmatic" sees Blueprint get automatic for his crew over some classic Rj drums. "Share This" and "Right Place, Wrong Time" are two of Rj's best works to date. The former is a minimal collection of cymbals and strings that builds until the horns blow the doors down...and that is just for the first verse. "Right Place Wrong Time" flexes one of best guitar loops I've heard in some time. "Candyland" parts 1 through 3 is one of the albums highlights, especially if you grew up in the late 70's and 80's. Blueprint reminiscing will surely put a smile on your face of Rj's insanely smooth strings don't.
Oh, and I can't forget to mention "1 Love," just because it is so dope and a great vibe to leave the album on (ignoring the hidden track that is, which is an evil little number). Has anyone else taken notice that many of the best albums lately have featured one producer? Brother Ali, Little Brother, Atmosphere, Gang Starr, Ugly Duckling, Outkast, DM & Jemini, etc. That is no coincidence; much like the early 90's when albums were albums, not a collection of 16 songs. So is this another must have album from the mighty Rhymesayers? You best believe it.