blaqprint-2_phixrThe borough of Queens, New York has a long history of manufacturing grade-A MC’s.

Just like any other tradition, that one is also difficult to maintain, but stepping up to the plate is another son of Queens in Blaq Poet—as he offers his latest album, Tha Blaqprint.

With 97 percent of the project produced by DJ Premier, the Screwball member shows that the grittiness New York once embodied is still alive and well.

The album features a handful of performers, with N.O.R.E., and Lil Fame from M.O.P. being the most recognizable.

With that said, the 90’s-esque Hip-Hop odyssey beings with signature sounds of Preemo helping to dish out songs like ‘I-Gettin,‘Ain’t Nuttin’ Changed[Click to watch video], and ‘What’s The Deal?’

Blaq Poet takes the simple piano loop on ‘Hood Crazy’ to describe just how outrageous growing up in such an environment can be; while N.O.R.E. shows up on ‘Hate,’ and helps to breakdown the definition of the word by going back into his own history.

One of the strongest tracks comes in on ‘Sichuwayshunz,where Blaq Poet touches on all of the different problems people go through on a regular basis.

Using a somber piano drop, the Queensbridge MC tells a tale about three different kinds of individuals, and the struggles they go through, and the decisions they make when it comes bettering themselves.

Blaq Poet further lays down his Blaqprint with the paranoia of ‘Voices,the well put together ‘Rap Addict’ (feat. Lil Fame), ‘Let The Guns Blow, and the brazen ‘Don’t Give A Fucc.

Tha Blaqprint isn’t a project that’s going to make it onto the Billboard Charts, because it’s more of a project that will make it into the hands of those who grew up listening to Hip-Hop before it became larger than life.

In addition, the Gangstarr days might be over and done with, but DJ Premier proves that he has plenty left in the tank production-wise, as he shows no signs of sounding dated, but rather more seasoned.

With a combination of Blaq Poet’s gruff flow, and DJ Premier’s scratch-heavy sound, Tha Blaqprint is an album that fans of the two will have no problem welcoming into their collection- especially if they hail from the borough of Queens…

Rating: 3.5

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