The working man’s rapper, Supastition, returns with another solid album jam-packed with meaty beats and direct rhymes that he is claiming as “Gold Standard”. It’s an apt title, as not only is Supastition a reliable emcee who regularly delivers quality Hip-Hop music, he’s an artist who knows his strengths and boundaries. While some rappers would have preferred to associate themselves with platinum or diamonds, gold reflects the classic, classy yet realistic status the NC representative embodies.
For some listeners, prolific underground emcee Supastition needs no introduction. Known for his razorsharp delivery, brutal honesty and having worked with the likes of Marco Polo, Phonte, One Be Lo, Supa’s rich and consistent career continues to flourish with the release of his latest project, Gold Standard. He sounds as hungry as ever.
At ten new tracks, the LP comes equipped with features from Kenn Starr, Boog Brown, Audessey, and his group, Soundsci – with production from MoSS, Praise, Veterano, Croup and more.
Recent albums have shown a more mature side to the man also known as Kam Moye, and “Gold Standard” is no different. Where his earlier work may have leant more on spitting bars about spitting bars, this album is full of tracks with something to say. Just as J-Live recently shared his thoughts on the issue of racism and police with itchy trigger fingers, Supastition shares how he feels on “Black Bodies”. He claims to not feel like America is his home any more, which is striking when you consider that Americans are well known for being blindly patriotic. That of course is a stereotype, but to hear rappers taking America’s name in vain only helps highlight to the world how bad racism is in the so-called land of opportunity.
The Kenn Starr collaboration “In-Crowd” is a potent track with a noggin-nodding production from Rik Marvel that sees both emcees throwing some digs at those try-hards who pander to what’s popular at the expense of friends and dignity. The one song I had mixed feelings towards was “Unorthodox”, where the line “I don’t do club raps, I’m above that” felt a bit snobbish. Nobody goes to nightclubs expecting the DJ to drop some Binary Star or Chino XL, and this felt like a track that shows Supastition is proud to be different, despite the anti-club rap mentality being something hundreds of rappers are shouting about. He is different, but it’s because of what he does rhyme about, not what he doesn’t.
If you were to pick one song from each of Supa’s many releases, you’d quickly notice how consistent he is in his lyrical sound. He will always have hard hitting lines, high caliber stories and metaphors, and an extremely sophisticated delivery. By now, all of those qualities should be assumed when Supa announces he has new music, and that’s inevitable. However, his consistent sonority equates to Gold Standard sounding like something he’s already made, which is by no means a knock against the album, because the music is pretty freaking good, it’s just that his past work sounds very similar to this, which is good, it just doesn’t quite set this body of work aside from his others in the grand scheme of things.
Not only does Gold Standard hold such pristine lyricism, but one can’t help but notice Supastition’s noteworthy delivery, and although I’m sure I compliment him on this aspect of his craft every time his music is posted on the site, it is something that separates him from the zillions of other rappers that there are in the world. Lastly, I did say that Gold Standard sounds too much like his past work for it to differentiate in any way, it would, however, be remiss of me to not state that some of his best lyrical deliveries can be found on this release.
In terms of the production work, Supa used a number of producers, though he largely worked with Praise, and this pairing was a pleasant surprise as their sounds blended in a way that displayed both the producer and emcee’s individual talent, on a cohesive basis. It sounds complex, but really it’s just two artists that were on the same page time and time again. Additionally, I should note that there were no beats that really blew me away or stole the show on any singular track, rather all of the instrumentals used meshed well with Supa’s uniform sound.
One of the best beats on Gold Standard can be found on the track “Song for the Mrs” which interestingly enough was produced by Praise. This beat is smooth, serene, and great. It’s hard to top that.
All in all, Gold Standard is a very good album that all of the various styles of hip-hop heads can enjoy. This album excellently displays one of Supa’s better attributes; his flow, and even has some really solid story-telling tracks on it as well. Be that as it may, this album still sounds far too much like many of Supa’s past projects, which only hurts the short-term value of the album, because in five, ten, or fifteen years when someone looks at his catalog as a whole, Gold Standard will rightfully be labeled as a damn good album.