The Colossus is Rjd2's first self-produced album for his own label, RJ's Electrical Connections, and it definitely benefits from being released by a boutique. Aside from the features, which come from friends rather than fortune-makers, The Colossus finds Rjd2 back to doing what he did when he first began recording: simply curating excellent productions instead of wooing a new audience by creating expressly written songs or telling a story with his full-lengths. A couple of the instrumentals here are entirely constructed from samples (starting with the opener "Let There Be Horns"), and they create a fractured sense of swing -- especially since they sit so well next to slightly more "played" productions. Rjd2's guests are singers more than rappers (with just a few exceptions), so the R&B vibe behind "Games You Can Win" (featuring Kenna) and the infectious, horn-led "Crumbs Off the Table" (featuring Aaron Livingston) is palpable. Whether Rjd2 needed a reset or not after leaving his previous label, The Colossus shows him relaxed and happy being his own boss.
The Colossus Review
by John Bush