Soul Position 8,000,000 Stories

[Rhymesayers; 2003]

Rating: 3.5/5

Styles: underground hip-hop
Others: Pharoah Monch, Heiroglyphics

One of the most unique combinations in hip-hop is the relationship between emcee and DJ. In its history, hip-hop has been relatively unsuccessful at establishing a triumphant outlook at the interconnecting correlation between both individuals. While more often then not, one of the individual performers would far outweigh his partner in overall talent and prowess. For example, Pete Rock may be one of hip-hop’s most creative DJ/producers but lacked the proper representation when he was with CL Smooth. Not that CL Smooth was a bad emcee; he just wasn’t as good as Pete Rock.

I can only count a handful of successful emcee/DJ collaborations. The most obvious is Gang Starr, with the creative tapestry of DJ Premier and the lyrical assault of Guru. The only other one that comes to mind at this moment is KRS-One and Scott La Rock of early Boogie Down Productions. The newest DJ/emcee collaboration is from a couple of prolific hip-hop performers from Columbus, Ohio. The group is called Soul Position and comprises of Blueprint and RJD2. RJD2 has caught the attention of critics since the release of his successful Deadringer, while Blueprint continues to impress with his Pharoah Monch style, upfront delivery and his quirky lyrical wordplay. Their newest collaboration is titled 8,000,000 Stories and is a tremendously polished hip-hop affair.

Soul Position released an EP in 2002, titled Unlimited, and quickly made their name present in current day hip-hop. 8,000,000 Stories continues where they left off by creating a rhythmical hybrid of hip-hop funk and west-coast soul flow. RJD2 stepped back from his previous work on Deadringer and refines his production to create an adequate amount of space for Blueprint to perform without being overpowered by the intricate beats and effects. The two play well off each other, creating a plethora of fresh and innovative hip-hop songs. After the intro, “Printmatic” is a funk thump as Blueprint rhymes with conviction "Printmatic/ cinematic perfection/ the blueprint/ for crews that lack direction." “The Jerry Springer Episode” is a comical rendition with adequate depictions of a similar occasion that you would find on the famous talk show. The entire album keeps you intrigued at the similar direction that Blueprint and RJD2 travel.

Soul Position has created a record that contends in the emcee/DJ category. It isn’t a masterpiece but is certainly worth any attention it gets. And with a continuous relationship, RJD2 and Blueprint should grow to become one of hip-hop’s finest emcee/DJ collaborations. Welcome to the elite club.

1. Intro
2. Printmatic
3. Inhale
4. Jerry Springer Episode
5. Candyland pt.1
6. Just Think
7. Fuckajob
8. Look of Pain
9. Survival ft. Greenhouse Effect
10. Candyland pt.2
11. Share This
12. Run
13. Right Place Wrong Time
14. Candyland pt.3
15. No Excuse For Lovin'
16. 1 Love
bonus - Still Listening f. Copywrite, Jakki