Breez Evahflowin' - Breez Deez Treez
It's not everyday that a rapper can wear his heartbreak on his lapel, completely absent of 808s. While Breez may still be wondering if the world truly appreciates him, putting those questions to music is perhaps his most powerful answer
Throughout the tenure of his career, Breez Evahflowin has been known as the pensive emcee. His allegiance to Hip Hop collective Stronghold (Poison Pen, C-Rayz Walz [click to read], Immortal Technique [click to read] and DJ Static) propelled them all to middle management stardom, several steps above their peers in the crowded albeit gritty New York City underground. While nods from MTV could have led to Breez altering his flow to swim the mainstream, he remains the thoughtful storyteller as he delivers his Breez Deez Treez.
The album maintains Breez's thematic means of offering peeks into the mind of the man, not the mic-controller. However, this time around the intensity is turned up several notches, and the result is a brilliant audio memoir. That's not to say that the entire work is pockets full of poignancy, but it's more of an "If you don't know, now you know" for those who really don't. Breez opens with "Background Music", a journey into the life of a man who thinks he's smoked it all away, "I couldn't see the signs my mind was into pot / I smoked away the best damn days that I got." A lot of Breez Deez Treez leans on Breez questioning his success and weighing the reasons why he hasn't reached the proverbial next level. Skills are no question, as "I Know" examines his undeniable lyricism fueled by a love of the craft, carrying into the self-explanatory "Luck vs. Skill" with Swave Sevah and Ike P. "Dot Dot Dot" shifts gears, as a graphic tale of witnessing a mother's murder through the eyes of her child and how that story walks with her for her entire life.
A handful of tracks, including "Let 'Em Know", "When You Fall", and "Rope" serve as fillers with Breez's strong lyrical growl. However, the heart of Breez Deez Treez lies in two specific tracks - "Moms," a heartfelt ode to one of the most important women in his life who died of cancer, as he spends the track cursing the disease but pushing through to make his mother proud. The second, "I Failed" finds Breez the most open, dissecting his solo career and that of his Stronghold kinfolk, blaming himself for not achieving the success he envisioned for them.
Breez Evahflowin undoubtedly moved through many mindstates as he penned Breez Deez Treez. Having the gumption to put it out there is what makes this album remarkable. It's not everyday that a rapper can wear his heartbreak on his lapel, completely absent of 808s. While Breez may still be wondering if the world truly appreciates him, putting those questions to music is perhaps his most powerful answer.