In a virtually loveless industr industry, Divine Styler's second solo album is a truly inspiring love piece focusing on the self-empowering aspects of life over acid-infused breakbeats. The Pharaoh Divine Styler divulges potent doses of uplifting abstract lyrics, but the true genius of this recording lies in his work behind the boards. The exquisitely original in-the-house-of-God "Hajji" attacks from the jump with its voice-manipulated supernova distortion, and DJ Rhettmatic's scratches on the 1's and 2's. With "Time Fold 79," Divine puts his breath control on full display over a plush piano arrangement, a true dedication to hip-hop's glory days. Creating nothing but timebomb's waiting to explode, "Directrix" is guaranteed head-nodding material. DS spits his lyrics out in a robotic talking mode, fluctuating in and out of this hazy futuristic track. Joining forces for the first of two collabos with his labelmates Styles of Beyond, "Nova" has a definite "Hot Sex" vibe permeating its every orifice. SOB combines wonderfully with DS, as Takbir's performance is especially invigorating. "Microphenia" continues assaulting your eardrums, befuddling you with its seemingly out-of-nowhere soundscapes. The old-school breakbeat and quick thrusting bursts of energy propel "Before Mecca," as it has lost no luster off its original shine. DS outdoes himself with "Make It Plain" as he implements sonic explosions that hit from every possible angle, making it an unparalleled listening experience. There is a huge discrepancy in terms of quality from the first side of this LP to the second (where most of the tracks mentioned above are located). DS finds a nice groove on the B-side, whereas side one is much less cohesive and uneventful. Divine Styler's style is unlike anything you've ever heard, and it takes more then a few listens to fully decipher what's going on. His elevated, intellectually stimulating word power is a nice change of pace, and far from the usual M.O. hip-hop LPs contain nowadays. While, DS does a nice job of using hip-hop as a medium for getting his message out to the masses, his lyricism takes a backseat to his uncompromising underground production. Enticing, informative, and done with nothing but the upliftment of man and woman at heart, which alone is enough to be applauded for.
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AllMusic Review by Matt Conaway