Let Sareem Poems Beat You Over The Head Making You “Black and Read All Over”
Sharlock Poems, Sharlok Poems, Poems, Sareem Poems whatever you wanna call him (I prefer Sharlok Poems), the guy can rhyme. The former L.A Symphony member has become a solid solo artist, releasing three albums in the past (The Movement, Left and the most recent Blooming Sounds). This time around the emcee goes by the name of Sareem Poems and has teamed with Scribbling Idiots member Theory Hazit and Oddisee to handle the production on the album. What do you get when combine these in one album?
Now as most of you know guests are really big for me when picking up an album (no it’s not the only thing). Looking at the tracklisting you see there are guests from everywhere and some that we haven’t heard from in a while. LMNO (from the Visionaries) Scarub (Living Legends) Pigeon John (L.A Symphony) and many others assist Sharlok with the lyrics on this record.
From the start of the album your ears a blessed with the intro track “Enter” which sets the tone for the entire album, it’s bangin’. The introduction to the track is followed by the track “Come Get It” which features one of the producers of the album Theory Hazit. It’s a track that pretty much says we’re two of the best emcees around and you’re crew is garbage. It’s sets the tone for this album very well and should get the listener psyched to hear the rest of the album.
“Hard Labor” continues the trend of banging tracks with features by LMNO and Scarub. The production on the track can only make you move your head up and down; I personally replay this track over and over while I’m jogging because it gets me pumped. Each emcee covers a different topic but I think the overall topic of the song is life is hard work, but we must push on regardless.
Like I said earlier the big difference between Sharlok’s last album Blooming Sounds and this one is the guests on the tracks. Most Christian Hip Hop tracks have the serious vibe to it, but if you need an emcee to spice up your tracks you call Pigeon John and he’ll give you a verse and background vocals you’ll never forget and that’s exactly what “Lower the Boom” is. A song that you play at parties to get the people to the dance floor, this song is energetic and you get a guest verse Akil from Jurassic 5.
“Shake It Up” is another track where Theory destroys the beat and Sharlok kills the rhymes. One gripe I kind of had with the album is that hooks aren’t really that creative, which I suppose isn’t that big of a deal, but I wasn’t feeling most of them. I think Sharlok kind of mixes up verse topics on this one which has him hitting you with numerous messages in one song.
One of my favorite songs on this record is “Impossible” for numerous reasons, first it features Stro the 89th Key who we haven’t seen or heard from in a while, second we get another gest appearance from Othello from Lightheaded and last the topic of the song is amazing. It’s pretty much that nothing is impossible in life even though life can get rough and we might feel like we’re going to quit. Othello’s verse I think stands out the most on this.
“I can’t. Won’t stop nah. Push it forward, gotta crawl.
If I can’t stand tall, I’m a still make it all,
the way to where I gotta be.”
Now Theory Hazit handled most of the production on this album, but Oddisee of Diamond District handled the production on two tracks. “Tell It” and another favorite of mine “She’s So So”. I think everyone can relate to this song, basically it’s the whole boy meets girl, is too nervous to talk to girl, contemplates talking to her and then finally does realizes she was feeling him too. This is one of those tracks that just flow and have a nice vibe to them.
While I have only listened to 2 of Sharlok’s albums, Black and Read All Over improves on what Blooming Sounds sort of lacked. The production is superb on all levels, Theory Hazit and Oddisee did work on this one and it shows. Every guest on this album from Propaganda to Othello, from Georgia Anne Muldrow to Ragen Fykes all of them brought the heat on their performance. And to top it off Sharlok complimented the beats to perfection, with the exception of a few tracks where Sharlok seems to get lost in the beat (in other words the beat overpowered the lyrics if that makes any sense).
Sharlok is honestly on a roll right now with this release and with him and Dust releasing an album sometime before the world explodes it should be a great year for the former L.A Symphony member. A couple words of advice to the reader first go check out Sharlok and Dust’s myspace page for a music video a four tracks that duo has done together (trust me they’re all awesome). Second if you have not picked up the album yet; wait until the deluxe edition comes out on December 1st because you get the album that I just reviewed here, the instrumentals to the entire album and some remixes. I know I will asking for the Deluxe Edition for my birthday. So pick it up!!!!!
Beats are banging
Guests!!! (LMNO, Ohmega Watts, Othello, Stro, Ragen Fykes, Theory Hazit, Propaganda, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Pigeon John and more)
Sharlok brings the rhymes to compliment the beats
The beats sometimes overpower Sharlok’s lyrics causing the lyrics to be overlooked.
Rating: 4.5/5 (Get this Album Or You’re Missing Out)
If You Can’t Buy The Album Download These Songs
1. Hard Labor feat. LMNO and Scarub
2. Unless You Do
3. She So So
4. Impossible feat. Stro and Othello
5. Shake it Up