Mikel Anthony’s The Schematic Review (side note: It’s Bangin’)

Mikel Anthony who I believe is a Breax affiliate has released his debut album The Schematic. While listening to the album I decided to look up the definition of “schematic” (which is kind of sad being that I’m a college freshman that tested out of his English 151 class) it means “showing the basic form or layout of something”. In other words the title of this album fits perfectly, Mikel Anthony gives us the basics of his life and his work for Christ.

Before I listened through the album I checked to see the production credits and before I even started listening I knew I was in for a banger of an album. While I wasn’t entirely sure of who DJ Rek and DJ Harmz were, I did know who Jruckers, Name Brand and Nathan Soultrain were. The latter handled production on albums with TheBreax, Nathan Soultrain did “For What” on TheBreax Restocked album and Jruckers at least in my mind is remembered for the work he did with the “DOA (remix) he did with Ruslan. So naturally I was already excited to hear the beats on this album.

The first track “What If” showcases production from Nathan Soultrain and Jruckers. “What If” does an excellent job of setting the tone for the rest of the album, that can be a good thing and a bad thing. This leads me to the only gripe I had with this album, the good news is we get banging beats on every track, however I didn’t really feel the artist-listener connect until the last couple of tracks on the record. His lyricism is good but I didn’t feel he let us into his life with this record and that holds this album back from being a classic.

Like I said this album is full of West Coast bangers and the track “100%” is one of them. I have no idea who handles the first verse on the track, but I do know that Nomis handles the last verse on the track. Pretty much it’s cypher time and it’s time to talk about what these guys and many other heads care about most: Christ and hip hop. These guys handle mikes with the best of them, test them and I guarantee you that they’ll send you  back to where you came from crying (not kidding). Production is done by DJ Harmz and he gives you a beat that will get your head bopping up and down and playing this track on 21 on your stereo.

DJ Harmz comes back later on the album with a track called “It’s A Beautiful Day” and it’s my favorite track on the album. In my mind this is a West Coast version of “Cincinnati Summer” by the Kings of Tragedy. The beat has that vacation feel to it, better yet a chillin’ on the beach flavor to it.

Now towards the end of the problem I feel the lyrical content of the music goes to a new level. I feel the we get to see how Mikel Anthony feels about the world around him and this is the level I would’ve liked to see his lyricism through the entire album. “Heart Break” is another favorite song of mine and is a message of perseverance a song that we all need to hear. Anthony comments on how he never really matched up in terms of other people’s expectations. There’s a guest on the album, I can’t pinpoint his voice so I don’t know who it is, but I like his verse because it reminds me of Black Star’s “Thieves In The Night” talking about the problems our generation has.

“Tell Me” is the perfect track to bring this album to a close, because it seems that with Anthony’s last and only verse on this song, he puts everything out there. Anthony talks about the pain he’s suffered from three of his friends passing away. He talks about how he needed a change of scene, in essence the guy’s been through a lot and it’s only through God that he hasn’t gone insane. This track is the most relatable on the album in so many ways and we all need to listen to it.

Mikel Anthony’s debut album from a production standpoint is FIRE! Lyrically we were only given a sample of Anthony’s lyrical excellence and that sample is in the last four or five songs on the album. I’m not saying the first half of the album is bad, I definitely pulls the listener in and then at the end he hits with his personal stuff. Get this album because it has sound we haven’t heard in Christian Hip Hop and this is a guy you want to keep your eye on for the future.

Good

PRODUCTION IS FIRE!!!

The album escalates in terms of subject matter and lyricism

It’s A Beautiful Day

Bad

Lyricism is a little lacking in the beginning

Rating: 4/5 (Go Get It, You’ll Enjoy It)

If You Can’t Buy The Album Download These Songs

What If

It’s A Beautiful Day

Heart Break

Answer The Call

Tell Me

~ by Michael Stover on December 18, 2009.

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