directed by Brandon Dull.
directed by Brandon Dull.
Right from the jump it’s apparent that iPAB is an epic album, just the way the first beat comes in you can tell this is some stadium music, and the Villain sets it off with a flow so caked in confidence that it sets the tone for the whole album, this is a mafucka who knows who he is and is highly comfortable on the mic, a sure sign of an MC who ain’t bullshittin’, it’s all real bars here. After that intro comes the first highlight joint “Been A Long Time”, and as someone who looks to the beat first, it’s actually the lyrics that carry this track, as Villain bodies the flow and proves he’s a beast on the mic. Although when it comes to the beat, the haunting sample in the hook is what perfects the track, not only do Villain’s words send chills down your spine, the beat will too. “I’m Finished” and “On Smash” are both fire, and “Love Birds” is straight up beautiful, with a soulful beat and sample, plus Villain switching it up and instead of crushing fake rappers with his bars, he displays his storytelling skills. “Our City” is a solid Pittsburgh anthem, with a pounding beat and some boastful bars from the Villain. The iPAB remix of “Oh My People” is the reggae element that has all but disappeared from hip hop which thankfully Villain is doing a nice job at bringing back. “Thugz Science Fiction” is another highlight, along with “G.U.N.S.”, with a sample you’ll definitely recognize.
Where the second half of the album sort of begins is over a beautiful classic sample on “Holla” while Villain weaves a solid tale of the working man and then on to a scandalous female, if you still ain’t up on how dope Villain is, this joint will seal the deal. “Endless Time 2” actually has kind of a boom-bap, late 90s feel to it, with a solid guest feature and an overall dope feel. One of the most unorthodox beats comes in on “Pittsburgh Famous”, but the hook is so money and memorable, it’s a solid anthem for the city. “N The Morning” is a funky, laid back joint with a sing-song hook while Villain spits some words to the ladies, this shit is perfect when you got the haze up in your system. On “World Spinnin’” Villain goes back in showing his lyrical game is up to par with the best of them, and the guitar line is funky as all hell. The album closes out with “When I’m Gone”, a somber yet soulful joint in which Villain gets real personal, and leaves the listener satisfied with the full body of work that he puts on display throughout this project.
As far as skippable joints, there’s definitely some on there, as an hour and a half is almost impossible to fill up with consistently solid tracks. “Go 2 War” drags a little bit, and the title track suffers from an out-of-place piano line over a strange drum selection. There’s also some tracks with solid beats but lyrically they just don’t live up to the rest of the album, again it’s tough to put out 24 tracks and have every one be on point.
Overall, iPAB is a solid double album, as Villain151 certainly displays a high level of talent, as well as a strong confidence that a lot of MCs are still lacking. There are rappers who are nervous either because they are spitting out a bunch of bullshit or because they’re still trying to find themselves, where as Villain is very well developed and knows exactly the type of MC he is, and from that you get a well sequenced album with a slew of dope tracks. Don’t sleep on this one, as Villain151 delivers a solid project here. 3/5