Supastition

7 Years of Bad Luck

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One of a number of hip-hop artists caught in the many entanglements of the music business, North Carolina product Supastition finally gave voice to his trials and tribulations on this 2002 debut. Following in the footsteps of such forgotten North Kakalak undergrounders as Yaggfu Front and Omniscience, the 25-year-old MC wrathfully torches the record industry (shady label executives, charlatan lyricists, and so forth) with a tendency toward innovative wordplay and self-deprecation. While many of the tracks seethe with Supa's bitterness and cynicism ("Da Waiting Period," "Hip-Hop vs. Life"), the vocalist tempers this vengefulness with a throwback sense of consciousness on heartfelt tracks like "Celebration of Life" and "Mixed Emotionz." Production-wise, there is a decided lack of electronic fanfare (à la the Neptunes or Timbaland); the grooves consist simply of stiff (but unsophisticated) drum kicks coupled with generally just one flourish of instrumentation (i.e., a sinister bass guitar riff on "Thatz Muzik" or a loopy accordion snippet on "Crown Me"). The stripped approach is perfect for Supa's underground sensibilities but the left of center tactic does not always come off, as in the case of the listless "Body Language." Overall, while his sound isn't always singular or stirring, Supastition succeeds in making the listener feel every bit of his seven unlucky years, voicing the pain and frustrations of an artist unfulfilled.

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