Bronze Nazareth

The Great Migration

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Wanting to prove himself as a lyricist as well as a producer, RZA protégé Bronze Nazareth set out about making a solo album, and rumors of its release and its list of guest artists roamed around underground hip-hop circles for a few years before the record actually came out. Finally finding a distributor in Babygrande, Bronze released The Great Migration in 2006, and although there are appearances from Killa Sin, Sean Price, Timbo King, Byata, 12:00, and Prodigal Sunn, as well as Kevlaar 7 and Phillie (both part of 7 Wisemen, the Detroit-based group Bronze is also a member of), Bronze does take the lead mic on most of the tracks. He comes nowhere close to doing anything Wu-Tang MCs like the GZA or Masta Killa do (he's also much less violent than either), but his flow is decent and his takes on standard hip-hip topics -- namely, his own skills and the difficulties he's had -- are more interesting than what usually comes on debut solo albums ("just wanted Hot 97 to play my sh*t like they promised/they never did but probably payola was on that," he laments in "Hear What I Say!"). He tries to delve into social problems and awareness, too, addressing the ideas of reparations and greed in "One Plan" and "$ (AKA Cash Rule)," respectively. His lyrics won't blow anyone away, but they certainly do show Bronze as more than just a producer, which was his goal all along. Strangely enough, it's the production on The Great Migration that leaves something to be desired. While there are some interesting, good beats (the title track, "The Pain," and "Black Royalty," to name three), there are far too many songs that are based on simple, repeating whole notes, which create a droning sound that, even with soft guitar and keyboard arpeggios underneath, get boring rather quickly. Bronze Nazareth has been making music for many years, but The Great Migration is only his first solo album, and while it might not propel him to the top of the MC ranks ("I'll probably never be as big as Slim Shady or Jay-Z" he admits), it's nice to see his versatility and a glimpse of what it could bring him later on.

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