Gift of Gab Fourth Dimensional Rocketships Going Up

[Quannum; 2004]

Rating: 4/5

Styles: underground hip-hop
Others: Lifesavas, Blackalicious, The Coup

Gift of Gab's most recent claim to fame was back in 2002 when he became a hip-hop thoroughbred and celebrated genius with the release of Blackalicious' Blazing Arrow. After a few years of underground recognition, Blackalicious extended the barrier of underground hip-hop with its funk vibe and bootylicious soul. Placing Gift of Gab in the center of hip-hop stardom, Blazing Arrow redefined the acceptance of underground hip-hop as a profitable commodity for the listeners of the genre. The presence of Gift of Gab on the record transformed it to one of the best lyrically and vocally crafted albums to ever be released. He certainly lives up to his name as the Gift of Gab by showcasing his talent on hits like Blazing Arrows' "Paragraph President" and their debut album NIA's "A to G," with his twisted wordplay and his asthmatic and astonishing delivery. So, could a solo Gift of Gab release fashion another thought-provoking, ass-shaking hip-hop gem?

Showcasing a tremendous amount of cleverness and intelligence with every poem he writes, Gift of Gab's strength and forte lies within his charismatic and enigmatic vocal delivery. Dimensional Rocketships Going Up, his first solo project, exemplifies his unique and entertaining storytelling, with tracks like "To Know You" and "In A Minute Doe." He maximizes his vocal range and diversity from low tone chitchat to up-tempo braggadocio on "Stardust" and The Writz," two of the most excellent and unsurpassed tracks on the record. But as the vocal styles remain intact from his previous releases, the music accompaniment has changed slightly from the Blackalicious project. Instead of a smooth and regurgitated sound, Gift of Gab embraces a more eclectic mixture of influences throughout the album. Musical comparisons could easily be made to the critically acclaimed record Party Music, released by The Coup.

Overflowing with Gift of Gab's lyrical ingenuity and imagination, crammed with funk, soul, and jazz influences, Fourth Dimensional Rocketships Going Up is a pleasurable travel through hip-hop's most treasured inspiration. It's an exemplary teaser for many fans waiting on the arrival of Blackalicious' next release. Furthermore, it continues to acknowledge that hip-hop is an evolutionary form of entertainment. And, like Gift of Gab, hip-hop has a lot to say.

1.The Ride Of Your Life
2. Rat Race
3. Way Of The Light feat. Vursatyl (of Lifesavas)
4. Stardust
5. Flashback
6. Up
7. The Writz
8. To Know You
9. Real MCs feat. Vursatyl (of Lifesavas)
10. Hold On
11. In A Minute Doe
12. Evolution
13. Moonshine
14. Ride On
15. Just Because (Bonus Track)