Killah Priest - The Offering

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Can guests Nas, Ras Kass, Immortal Technique and others push Killah Priest's latest offering to prominence?

Much like other Wu affiliates, you know
what you're getting with Killah Priest - lyrics dealing with
hieroglyphics, scripture, space and the like. And why not? Wu
fans absolutely love that shit. Now, it would be unfair to simply write off Priest
as another Wu-Tang weed carrier, as he is light years ahead
of, say, Cappadonna. On the other hand, Killah Priest
possesses neither the lyrical deftness of GZA, nor the
personality of Ghostface. This isn't to say that Priest
isn't a formidable lyricist - just that his lyrical ability doesn't usually
make up for his general refusal to switch his flow and content matter up. The
Offering
more or less addresses these problems, though not entirely.

With The Offering, Killah Priest starts the album off
with a monotonous intro. The lyrics are on point as per usual, his voice is
monotone and the flow is just horrid. "Salvation" isn't much of an
improvement, but things do get better on the Nas-featured Gun
for Gun
. Somewhat surprising is Priest's ability to sound
just as nice as Nas - not a feat that many emcees can hope to
accomplish: "When my fame is at stake/I think of how much slander I
take/Then I sit back and watch tapes on Alexander the great/Start studying how
he bloodied men/I think of rappers I'ma massacre, metal armor'll cover my
skin/Take me to war - 'Fuck y'all!' preaches Ivan the Terrible/Stare in my eyes
they're unbearable/You collide with the General."

"How Many"
has Priest making bold comparisons between himself and legends
such as Rakim, Kool G Rap and Kane.
While that may be a stretch, he certainly comes correct on the track with a
rapid flow that fits the beat perfectly. Hell Razah drops by
for the laid back (and very strange) "Melodic Pt. 2," resulting in a smooth,
moody song. The biggest disappointment on the album comes in the form of "Inner G,"
which features the 4 Horsemen (Ras Kass, Canibus,
Kurupt and Killah Priest himself). While Priest
and 'Bis come correct, Ras Kass and Kurupt
seem determined to make the track fail, as they deliver some truly garbage
verses. Bloodsport and Immortal Technique
lace the dope "Standstill."
Tech delivers exactly the incendiary, virulent lyricism we've
all come to expect from him, creating a truly hard-hitting record.

Production on The Offering is a mixed bag. "Osirus Eyes"
and "Ghetto
Jezus"
create extremely moody experiences with their haunting piano
keys, and "Truth
B Told"
is truly some sinister shit. Unfortunately, tracks like "The Offering"
and "Inner G,"
as well as "Til
Thee Angels Come"
are uninspired and predictable. Sometimes it's
easy to ignore these missteps, as the beats tend to cater to Killah Priest's
persona. The majority of the time though, the worse beats on the album really
detract from the songs, regardless of how dope the lyrics are.

Overall, The Offering is a solid album. Making a collection of 17
tracks which are listenable as a whole isn't easy, and Killah Priest
more or less manages to pull it off. Although a few songs suffer from
uninspired production and repetitive content matter, The Offering is
generally an enjoyable listening experience, highlighted by a few moments of
brilliance.

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