soul-2_phixrAs Chicago continues to be a burgeoning hotbed of Hip-Hop talent, native MC SoulStice continues the pattern by releasing his latest project, Beyond Borders.

The album is a joint effort between SoulStice and Belgian producer SBe, who provides the entire soundscape for the project.

The album is called Beyond Borders for a reason because, it lives up to that billing with artists like Africa’s Zap Mama and fellow Chicagoan G.L.C. lending their support—along with plenty other performers from numerous continents.

SoulStice and SBe gel together to deliver a record that has true Hip-Hop fundamentals, and also touches social and economic issues, both nationally and abroad.

Beyond Borders gets underway with the scratch-heavy ‘Speed Of Sound, and the many adventures of SoulStice and his passport:

“I gotta call from Mexico City, and took advantage/my man got me plus, I speak a little Spanish/don’t get me started on how fly Japan is/with Sushi, we did some damage.”

‘Chi Worldwide’ features G.O.O.D. Music’s own G.L.C., as both MC’s utilize the soulful voice sample and piano loop constructed by SBe to put on for their city. The international influence comes in on songs like ‘Strange Kinda Love,’ ‘Unfold,’ ‘To The Limit,and ‘Chicago To Germany, with all of them featuring contributions from artists hailing from the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium.

SoulStice brings it back stateside with ‘Better Way, which features Wordsmith. This time around, he uses the opportunity to briefly discuss the war overseas, while still addressing problems in his own country:

“Afghanistan, where they fightin’ in the mountains/innocent civilians dyin’ by the thousands/feels like a hard world to bring a child in/especially a little girl with brown skin/two strikes, I’m a slave to the news bites/in the grind, it’s easy to lose sight.”

Beyond Borders finishes its flight plan with light-hearted offerings like ‘No Place Like It,’ ‘Bird’s Eye View’ featuring Kev Brown, ‘Closer,and ‘2 Days In Paris.

SoulStice and SBe use their ability to come up with a project that shuns away from the typical run-of-the-mill Hip-Hop album, by talking about subjects that politicians have a tough time bringing up.

But in doing so, they help to redefine the meaning the word artist by showing that it’s still cool to create your own lane, rather than standing in line with everybody else…

Rating: 3.0