Yes, he’s been co-signed by DJ Premier, rocked with Bun B over J Dilla, and dropped an album with basically the entire Illmatic production team behind him, but Boston’s Termanology, has yet to get the proper mainstream recognition he feels he deserves. On the sixth installment of Term’s Hood Politics series, he sets out to prove he’s a beast on the mic and is backed by a cast of highly accomplished producers.
When you proclaim yourself “the Holy Resurrection of Pun,” you have to back that up, and in the past Term has been criticized as an mc that claims to be “lyrical,” but doesn’t prove it. From the second The Time Machine opens, it’s clear Term’s going all in as he tears apart the Statik Selektah produced “Nobody’s Smiling [click here to listen].” Term and Statik make an excellent team with Statik killing the scratches and Term taking listeners through the mean streets. Don Cannon [click here to view interview] teams up with Term for “Brown Paper Bag,” which is just about average; Term has the delivery but doesn’t really say much in the three minutes he has on the track, Cannon drops a jewel though. Another slight miss is “Wild Puerto Ricans” with Tony Touch and Ea$y Money (of ST). Although the beat’s banging, nobody but Term really spits too sick on this.
Termanology’s said in the past that if he were rapping in the ’90s he would have fared better and there’s no better proof of that than his joint with fellow Bostonian Reks. Going over Large Professor, Term boasts, “I was raised off the Infamous/the crime syndicate lased in my sentences/straight defy censorship/I love penmanship/ fuck with my business sense/you see a million dollar bag and some denim kicks/I’m like a walking briefcase that the streets laced/the only one in my generation with accreditation/it’s a celebration, never mind the scene/’bout to take ’em on a time machine” This is a true throwback track and probably one of the best Term appearances on record to date. Another solid track is the Fizzy Womack (AKA Lil Fame of M.O.P.) produced remix of “the Music Industry” featuring Royce Da 5’9″, Crooked I, Consequence, and Akrobatik which is just a solid jam.
“Forever” featuring Superstah Snuk is another banger; Shortyfuz brings in a laidback beat while Term and Snuk summon the spirits of Bone-Thugs and double-time this track. Premo gets behind the boards on “My Boston” which is a solid city anthem. Big Shug holds it down while Term and Singapore Kane raise the bar. Singapore Kane proves he deserved the cameo when he spits, “Every city’s the same shit don’t matter the size/anywhere the population is poor and you got crime/some dudes be doing grime, some dudes be doing rhymes/salute my dogs in the system doing their time/what you think cuz we got Harvard, Boston n**gas don’t be robbin’/mobbin’ when we’re starvin’/smoke blunts like Red all back at the garden/we’ll see who’s hard when you’re confronted by my squadron/talk on and on about you’re million gats/but if you’re pussy, we’ll skin you like Brazilian wax.” Statik kills it when he jumps back on the wheels of steel so Term and Joell Ortiz can tell how much they hate snitches; another solid track where both mcs show how lyrical they can be when they remain on topic. Songs like “God’s World” and “I See Dead People” show how nice Term can be when he goes deep instead of simply bragging.
While 2008’s Politics As Usual had the potential to be a classic album, it fell short due to the fact Term dropped his best lyrics on previous mixtapes. The Time Machine definitely sets the record straight that Termanology is an extremely gifted mc that’s worth giving a second listen. On this release Term stepped up his lyrical game while maintaining his signature rapid-fire flow. While some tracks stand out more than others, The Time Machine plays like an official release rather than a “street album.” Unfortunately for Termanalogy the Time Machine probably isn’t the release that’s going to break him into the mainstream, but regardless Hip-Hop heads will take note