Label: Dirty Version Records
“The Demigodz Is Back!” Underground super group the Demigodz, present their long awaited debut album KILLmatic. Over the last decade the group has released an EP, a compilation project and have collaborated on each other’s tracks and side projects, but the DGz are now back with their first official Demigodz album. The group consists of Apathy, Celph Titled, Ryu, Esoteric, Blacastan, and Motive. Aside from being Demigodz and individual artists Apathy, Celph Titiled, Esoteric, and now Blacastan are all members of the group the Army Of The Pharaohs and Ryu, Apathy, and Celph are associated with Fort Minor formed by Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda. Each artist had developed their own sound as well as their own fan base before joining forces once again to create a coherent album.
The Demigodz’ collective sound is complimented by guest appearances such as Termanology, R.A. The Rugged Man and Scoop Deville. DJ Premier, the Snowgoons, Marco Polo, Teddy Roxpin, and the Demigodz own Apathy are among those responsible for KILLmatic’s solid hard-hitting beats and outstanding sampling ranging from classic lyrics to the Captain Caveman cartoon, and even a Beatles sample.
The artists address such issues as political corruption and oppression in our society while entertaining through constant punch lines and clever allusions. It is a project that should keep mainstay fans of the underground group content while drawing in new listeners as well. The Apathy produced tracks “Demigodz Is Back,” “Dumb High,” “Just Can’t Quit,” “Can’t Fool Me,” “Dead In The Middle,” and “Raider’s Cap” stand out as some of the strongest due to his impressive and entertaining samples. The use of familiar sounds and lyrics, through not only the samples but also the interpolations, makes you feel like a fan even if you haven’t been following the Demigodz for long.
Apathy, Ryu, and Celph Titled showcase their individual styles on the catchy anthem “Demigodz Is Back.” The track serves as a reintroduction to the group before diving into the project. The rappers deliver punches over the Rocky Theme Song chopped up throughout Apathy’s production. The track “Never Take Me Out” features a hard verse from Termanology accompanied by Greg Nice and LL Cool J samples. It slows down the pace of the album a bit most likely due to the change in producer as it switches from Apathy to Teddy Roxpin.
Big Pun’s infamous bars “Dead in the middle of Little Italy, little did we know we riddled two middlemen who didn’t do diddly” are the foundation for “Dead In The Middle.” Big Pun’s inspiration led to an aggressive delivery from all members on a high energy lyrical track consisting of memorable lines such as Celph Titled spitting, “the b*tch worship my nuts like she was sack-religious.” “Just Can’t Quit” sample’s some of Biggie’s famous “Big Poppa” lyrics including “I got the blunts passin..Music Blastin..because I just can’t quit” chopped throughout Apathy’s piano heavy beat. Scoop Deville – Apathy and Ryu’s Get Busy Committee group mate – assists on the track.
There is no lack of lyricists on this project between the group members but they add even more with their well-fitting featured guests. Female emcee Eternia’s eight bars shine between those of the Demigodz on “Can’t Fool Me.” Her sound and lyrics complement the rappers and leave the listener wanting to hear more from her. R.A. The Rugged Man seamlessly joins the group for the Teddy Roxpin produced “Captain Caveman.” On the DJ Premier cut, “Worst Nightmare,” the “lyrical henchmen from another dimension” boast their rap skills over a beat that could serve as a score for a horror movie. DJ Premier’s affiliate Panchi of NYGz joins the group for the fittingly titled Chumzilla produced banger “DGZ x NYGz.”
KILLmatic is sixteen tracks of the Demigodz stealing the spotlight from each other over the beats and samples provided by equally talented producers. The project may have had more relevancy had it dropped in 2003 or even 1993 then 2013, however, it’s classic quality cannot be overlooked. Nods to Biggie, Big Pun, Eazy-E and obviously Nas’ Illmatic throughout add to the over-all 90’s hardcore hip-hop feel of the album. Although its grime and grit is reminiscent of a street album or mixtape, KILLmatic’s witty puns and aggressive poeticism create an impressive offering that is sure to be regarded as one of the best so far this year.