“Planet of the Gods” is the latest album from Wu-Tang Clan affiliate and Sunz of Man member Killah Priest. The album is fully produced by Dutch production crew Godz Wrath (Jordan River Banks, Black Marvel and Ciph Barker) with co-production from Kombo, Def Buurmen and Basrabas.
1) Intro – Skit.
2) Citrin – The first song on the album begins with Killah Priest spitting a few bars welcoming the listener to the project before a quick movie sample comes in. The beat, by Black Marvel and Jordan River Banks, is quite good and mainly consists of different layers of synthesizers and other atmospheric sounds all coming together over some ill rolling drums. Priest rides the beat nicely, especially for the first verse, and breaks up the songs two verses with a minimalist hook by Thoughtsarizen. Real nice way to start off the album.
3) Gods of E.din – Well damn. Ciph Barker comes through with a banger on this cut, delivering an instrumental that sounds like it’s going to be a little depressing at first but definitely picks up the energy level once the drums kick in. The dreary violins and strings at the start mesh nicely with the spacy synths and upbeat drums that come in soon after. As far as the rhymes go, Killah Priest just rips the beat, kicking bars about the gods and about their “wars before the Bible”. The lyrics are deep and the production is beautiful. This one is fire.
4) Golden Pineapple of the Sun – This song finds Killah Priest touching on a variety of topics over more beautiful production from Jordan River Banks (with co-production from Kombo). The beat is real dope, with a sprinkle of soft pianos that remind me of “Think Priest” and distorted keyboards that remind me a little of “New Reality” (both off of “Psychic World of Walter Reed” and both also produced by Jordan River Banks), while Priest raps about everything from the current state of hip-hop to a multitude of conspiracy theories.
5) Starship Planet (Shi’ur Qomah) – This cut begins with a another quick movie sample before the Ciph Barker beat kicks in and Priest starts his rapping. The lyrics on this track are really intricate and dense, with Killah Priest filling up the song with tons of scientific and religious references. It’s almost overwhelming to try to keep up with everything, but luckily the beat is less weighty than the rhymes as Ciph Barker’s production is almost amorphous and ethereal. Overall, however, this track is really dope, especially if you take the time to listen to what Priest is really saying.
6) Creation of a Super God – Black Marvel returns to production duties on this song and delivers an upbeat instrumental centered around a horn loop that gives the song a sort of comic-booky/superhero feel. The almost playful vibe of the production meshes nicely with Priest’s lyrics as he raps about his creation –
“First the brain created itself
Inside of a mind
Around the island of thoughts
In a world before time
Then a friction process starts
By telling itself it had a heart
The imagination began putting itself apart
This is called the animations period
By collecting proteins from the star Sirius
Let us create Gods after our own images“
7) The Vast Bottomless Sleep (Cosmos) – Killah Priest spits fire over a crazy Jordan River Banks instrumental featuring a haunting vocal loop, a touch of keyboards and head nodding drums. The production on this album has been amazing so far and Priest’s rhymes have been as deep and abstract as ever. I got a good laugh when he rapped
“Scientists captured beautiful woman
Start the mutating
Till they never stop aging
But I’m such a prolific writer
What happens if the lady is a martial arts fighter
And mutated to half a tiger and half fire?”
Another ill track.
8) PWOWR Glove – The beat on this song, courtesy of the ever impressive Ciph Barker, starts out with some soft piano keys, a subtle vocal sample and some quirky synths, but lacks any real drums to drive the instrumental at the start. This changes about 50 seconds into the song when the drums come out of nowhere to smack you in the face as Priest spits
“This is Wu technology, Wu great minds
Creation of a Killah Priest, Wu-Tang designed
Wu flying saucers
After that the drums come and go as the beat seems to change shape on a whim, with Priest just rapping his ass off the whole time. I’m really feelin’ how the production on the album is not locked into a static loop and instead seems to morph and take on a life of its own over the course of each song. Anyways, this one’s a banger.
9) L.Gigi (People of the Land of Nod) – Walter Reed spits one amazing verse over a Jordan River Banks and Kombo for Ma’at produced instrumental that has a Middle Eastern vibe to it. The song sounds unique on the album so far due to the lack of bass drums (which are instead replaced by tabla drums that are played nicely by Sandip Bhattacharya), the exotic atmosphere of the production and the off kilter flow from Priest near the end of the verse. I’m really feelin’ this one though.
10) Earth to Walter Reed, Come In Please – In sharp contrast to the peaceful feel of the previous song, Jordan River Banks returns on this track and delivers an intense instrumental full of threatening synths and strings over aggressive drums that should definitely get your head nodding. The beat bangs and the rhymes are just as strong, with the Iron Sheik From The Middle East exploring the cosmos while working in a few boastful rhymes in the second verse. Dope shit.
11) Mul.Apin Tablets – So I keep saying that the production on this album is crazy (and it is), but Ciph Barker is just KILLIN’ it with the beats on here and this one might be my favorite yet. The drums on this track as hard as hell and the frantic keyboards and different layers in the background come together beautifully. As for the rhymes, Priest ups the energy level to even more than that of the previous song and spits with a vengeance on here. His delivery is furious and his rhymes are very creative. Another banger.
12) Centrality of Our Mythic Imagination – This song finds Killah Priest slowing down his flow a bit to match the more dreamy, laid-back feel of the instrumental. The beat, by Jordan River Banks, once again adds and removes elements as the song goes on, which helps to keep the beat feel fresh as Walter spits some more rhymes about lost civilizations and extraterrestrials. The verses are kind of short and are separated by distorted vocals form Crystal Nelson, something that is done a little bit better on “Color of Ideas” (which is coming up soon). Still, I’m feelin’ this one. It’s not as strong as some of the others, but it’s still quite good.
13) Rogue Godz – Black Marvel comes through with a hypnotizing instrumental on this track, featuring some mesmerizing synths and other ambient sounds layered over interesting percussion. I’m diggin’ the production on here as well and Priest rips it, painting a picture in my mind while rapping about “pirate dragons sailing through the sea of monsters” and “space pirates, skeleton kings, snake empire, seraphim wings”. Dope shit.
14) Color of Ideas – I’m sure all of you have heard this track by now since it was one of the singles released in promotion of the album. If you haven’t, I highly suggest checking it out since it’s absolute fire. The beat, by Jordan River Banks, is simply beautiful and Priest sounds great over it, with Crystal Nelson just providing some additional distorted vocals in between the verses. This one has been getting play for a few months now and I don’t see it leaving rotation any time soon.
15) Quantum Spirit of Creation – Similar to “L.Gigi (People of the Land of Nod)”, this song finds Killah Priest spitting some spiritual rhymes over an otherworldly Jordan River Banks produced instrumental that has a Middle Eastern feel to it. This song reminds me of something similar to “Heavy Mental” or a “The Pwowr (Problem Solver)” in that it has minimal drums and Priest just blacks out over it, especially during that extra long second verse.
16) Alien Stars – This was another of the songs that was released in promotion of the album and it’s really good. The beat, by Ciph Barker, features more of the spacy, twinkling synths and hard drums that have been so prevalent throughout the rest of the album. So far Godz Wrath has managed to keep the production feeling fresh while keeping with the space theme of the album so hats off to them for that. As for the rhymes, Priest spits one long verse for almost the entire songs run time (about 4 minutes or so) and gets real vivid as he raps –
“The land of Admah where Cain explained to a scribe
What happened between him and his brother when he died
His smirk as he commanded his army to do drills in the dirt
He said you know what really hurts?
After the departure I really have nothing left
And by the time I’m deceased
I’ll probably transform into the Angel of Death
And reenter your atmosphere
Dragging angels by their hair
Fire and brimstone raining from the spheres
Blood and crowns falling
While we sit on our horses
And I laugh as I look at my family portrait”
17) I Destroyed You In Front Of Your Leaders – This song finds Killah Priest spitting some boastful bars and destroying weak emcees over an energetic Black Marvel instrumental. The blaring horns and hard drums give the song a cinematic feel and Priest rides the beat nicely. This one is fire.
18) Body of Light – I think this was actually the first single that was released from the album and it’s real nice. The track finds Jordan River Banks returning to the Middle Eastern-ish vibe that he brought on “L.Gigi (People of the Land of Nod)” and “Quantum Spirit of Creation”, but this time adds some hard ass drums as well. The production has a darker vibe than those two tracks and Priest gets a little darker as well while rapping about how he “kills emcees, destroy their souls, catch’em at the crossroads with a crossbow, on a spirit horse surrounded by crows”. Dope shit.
19) Gallery of the Gods – Walter Reed raps about being amongst legends and gods over a mystical Black Marvel production full of wispy, ambient sounds and frantic percussion. This song actually reminds me somewhat of Nas’ “Amongst Kings” in tone, which is a good thing since I’ve always been a huge fan of that track. Nice.
20) Walt’s Day Out (Bonus Track) – The final song on the album is probably the strangest of all, with Killah Priest just having fun and rapping about having ADHD and about being high in a kind of sing-songy flow. The production, by Jordan River Banks with co-production from Def Buurmen, Kombo and Basrabas is equally lighthearted and features a vocal sample, some violins by Myrthe van de Weetering and what sounds like a sitar (I may be way off on that one). Anyways, the song doesn’t really fit in with the overall theme of the rest of the album, but it works well enough as a bonus track and as a break from the overall intensity of the rest of the project.
Because it’s really good. Killah Priest dropped his last album, “The Psychic World of Walter Reed”, back in 2013 and it was just incredible. The beats (many by Godz Wrath) were stunning and Priest simply killed every track. Sure there were a few weaker songs, but it was a double album so some filler was to be expected (although it was minimal). Up until that point in his career my main issue with Killah Priest was the somewhat inconsistent production and mastering of his albums. His rhymes were never an issue – it was just the occasional misstep with the backdrop. “The Psychic World of Walter Reed” ended up changing all of that since the production was top notch and the mastering was much cleaner. Luckily the same is true on “Planet of the Gods”. The beats on here are brilliant, with Godz Wrath cementing themselves as a force to be reckoned with on the production tip. The mixing and mastering (by Jordan River Banks and Ivo Statinski respectively) is also top notch since Priests vocals are clean, the beats are crisp and the bass is deep. Never one to slouch with the rhymes, Walter Reed may have somehow found a way to step up even his incredible lyrics on this album. His rhymes are as vivid, thought-provoking and creative as ever, but his delivery sounds reinvigorated and less monotone than he has in the past. Overall, the album is really dope and is a welcome entry into the veteran emcees already stellar discography. If you are a fan of Killah Priest or just looking for an album with deep rhymes and incredible production, make sure you head on over to Killah Priest’s website to preorder the album. You won’t be disappointed.