Outerspace - Blood & Ashes

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Outerspace is comprised of the Illadelph duo Planetary and Crypt the Warchild. With a friendship far beyond the music, the lifelong friends first made some noise in the late 90's with Superregular and later through their association with Jedi Mind Tricks. As JMT's popularity grew, Vinnie Paz took it upon himself to put his fam on the map for good. Earlier this year Babygrande released "Jedi Mind Tricks Presents: Outerspace," a collection of Outerspace's singles which acted as a nice introduction to the group. This of course was all in preparation for "Blood and Ashes," the debut LP from Outerspace.

Planetary and Warchild aren't the kind of emcees to call for rewinds, they won't make you shake your head in disbelief or demand a place near the top of your favorite emcee list. They are very serviceable emcees though and have no problem holding their own over their standout production. There is nothing worse than nice beats being ruined by incapable emcees. Believe me, there are some really nice beats here. I expected to see Stoupe with some production credits considering the affiliation, but he is nowhere to be found. It is largely kept in the family though as 7L laces three of the albums finest cuts in "Fire and Ice," "Far Greater," and the incredible "It Is What It Is." Partner in crime Beyonder chimes in with some nicely laid keys on "Brute Force" and Celph-Titled lends a crazy beat and an insane verse to "The Revolution."

In virtually every case Planetary and Warchild are outshone by the beats, which isn't necessarily a bad thing since the production is really good. One instance where that doesn't happen is on Panik's banger "Raw Deal" where they come off really nice in their ranting. Outerspace is joined by their mentor Vinnie Paz on "Blades of Glory" which is most notable for another great Panik beat. Even with all these established producers, it is the relatively unknown Shuko who steals the show here (along with Immortal Technique actually). The closing track "Angels of Death" is the icing on the cake and Shuko's epic production is something to behold, as is Technique's raging verse. Outerspace may take the backseat to their production team and some standout guests (Sadat X and Esoteric as well), but that doesn't change that this is a good album worth multiple listens. Nice debut from the Illadelph crew.

7/10

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