Hood Politics IV: Show & Prove
"I like Termanology because he dedicates his rhyming ability with the beats and these rappers nowadays have no clue, or respect for this culture..." - DJ Premier
I could end the review with just that BUT I'll continue on my way. Reppin' the Puerto Rican community proudly, Termanology has been practicing his craft since he was 15 years old (eight years in the making. If you're asking how old Term is, get back in school!). The emcee out of the 978 (just north of Boston) has spent the past two years grinding, collabing with acts ranging from DJ Premier and Royce Da 5'9" to Mobb Deep and Guru, as well as performing with the likes of Kool G. Rap, Wu-Tang, Fabolous, 50 Cent, Saigon and more. Dude's putting in work to say the least.
On top of his indie album with producer DC (Out the Gate), which was released January 2006, Hood Politics IV: Show and Prove marks Term's fourth mixtape in the past year and a half. It's 25 tracks deep with features from Papoose, Royce Da 5'9", Lil Fame (of M.O.P.), Trife Da God, as well as members from his ST crew, and production coming from the legendary DJ Premier, Roc Raida, MoSS, J. Cardim, Mr. Attic, Statik Selektah and DC. The fourth edition in Term's Hood Politics series remains dope in terms of beats and lyricism, but it lacks in structure and an overall sense of congruity. It leaves the listener lost and wishing the tape was stripped of a few tracks so it would be more fluid.
If you're reading this review, it either means you've been a fan of Term's for a while or you probably heard the Premo-produced street banger "Watch How It Go Down" and thought, "damn, now THIS cat has got talent." And yes, that thought is correct - good job. Just one listen to the aforementioned track and you can't front Termanology. He has the potential to be someone very special in this game. Staying on the positive side of things: you have the clouded, mysterious Roc Raida-produced "100 Jewels" as well as the Mighty Sam McClain-assisted "Far Away" that has Term acknowledging all of his people that are locked up. The soulful, old school meets new school on the Wu-Tang-influenced "Think It Over," which has Term and Trife Da God displaying their street knowledge on this very impressive joint. J. Cardim produces his ass off on "H.U.S.T.L.E.R." and "That's Life," The latter being one of the best tracks off the mixtape. The positive message, the melodic vocals and the realness all tie in so well.
Term lets a few things known that so many people seem to forget with his statement at the end, "Shit is real man, I'm on commercial radio every week nigga, I'm on B.E.T. I got CD's in the store. Guess what? I'm still fuckin broke! So don't think you gon get up in this rap shit and start making millions overnight. It takes a lot of hard work. Shit is real ... that's life."
Too many times while listening to the mixtape, I couldn't help but feel stuck and unaware of which direction the next track is going to lead. One second, Termanology's rapping about the dull subjects of gangbanging and gun use ("Got Em," "79 Murders") and the next he's speaking to his daughter about how he wants her to grow up and be just like daddy ("Just Like Me"). The horrible E3 -featured "Winter" could have easily been left off, as well as the typical, bland "Blow The Horns." "Watch Your Back" is just a rehashed Classified joint ("Unexplainable Hunger"). It even has Royce Da 5'9" spitting the exact same verse. But then again, I guess it is just a mixtape and not an album.
Featured in the XXL's "Show and Prove" (Sept. 2006) and The Source's "Unsigned Hype" column (Oct. 2005), Term has turned some heads, and for good reason. You might not see the full potential with this mixtape alone, but be sure to pick up all his previous material and keep your ear to the streets as Term ain't going nowhere anytime soon. He might not be the "holy resurrection of Pun" but then again, who could be? One thing is for sure, the man has the talent to be whatever he wants to be.