Ras Kass - Soul On Ice 2 (Album Review)

Artist: Ras Kass

Album: Soul on Ice 2

Producers: Diamond, DJ Green Latern, Pete Rock, J.U.S.T.I.C.E League, DJ Green Lantern, others 

Guest Features: Snoop Dogg, Everlast, Cee-Lo Green, Styles P., Lil Fame, Immortal Technique 


The West has been part of the hip hop game for years. You can run down the whole list of artists but one name has been off the radar: Ras Kass. Once labeled as the West Coast response to Nas, Ras Kass brought heavy the lyrical caliber to the game. Came out with a stunning debut assisted by Coolio on "Miami Life", Ras Kass came out with one of the important albums in history "Soul On Ice" based on stellar wordplay, original subject matter and dope production. Gems like "Anything Goes", "Marinatin" the title track and "Nature of a Threat" typifies hip hop art in its purest form. Two decades later, Ras has finally laced the sequel that has come to pass with "Soul On Ice 2". 

Starting the album on the right foot with the first two tracks "Silver Anniversary" and the Diamond produced "Grammy Speech" when Kass calls out the mediocre rappers. The adrenaline rush "Guns and Roses" with Styles P and Lil Fame teaming up with Kass with straight lyricism over the heavy drum lines that complements the track. The standout tracks from the drum knocking "Shark Week" that keeps up with Kass lyricism, "White Power" takes the wheel featuring Immortal Technique and the flute infused "The Long Way" trades heavy blows with House of Pain's Everlast about conspiracy theories. Ras ended the album with the  seven minute "Opioid Crisis" where he takes Nature of a Threat to another level taking on the current establishment with self awareness.

Although Ras didn't lose his lyrical step, the production dwindle with some songs. The Cee-Lo assisted "Midnight Sun" goes for the skip button; Ras and Cee-Lo subject matter of togetherness is unique but the beat brings little elevation while "Street Superstar" grabs little attention with the singing. The club infused "LL Cool J" has Ras Kass teaming up with Snoop Dog paying homage to the hip hop legend and FLY (Fuck Last Year) channels the concept of moving forward by forgetting about the old and in with the new but the message was lost over an outdated 90's beat. 

The fifteen track project has it moments, not a failed catastrophe but not as consistent as the original Soul on Ice. An assorted mixture of head nodding tracks that complements Ras flow while a few tracks are barely memorable. The Watts MC still has what it takes to do damage on a track and will continue to do so. After "Soul on Ice 2", listeners will want more from Ras Kass. 
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