Ruffian “Urge For Conscious Words” Review

To be completely honest this album came out of nowhere, one day I was wishing for a Ruffian album and the next thing I know Cas Metah of Scribbling Idiots announces that his Scribbling Idiot brother is releasing an album very soon. I’ve always wanted him to release an album because he has very creative wordplay. The question is will his debut album live up to the expectation that SI fans everywhere have?

I’m gonna start right off the bat by saying that this is a true underground hip hop record. The beats are raw (with beats from Mattman, K-Drama, Thought P and others) and dark, Ruffian’s lyrics take this project to another level. This album at least in my opinion has a lot of similarities with Sojourn’s album Sojournalism: The Summer Articles. I listened to this album 7 times before writing this review and every time I learned more and more from the album, felt more and more that I was part of the story that Ruffian tells through the tracks on this album.

Another way that this album reminds me of Sojourn’s album is the way that it is put together. It starts of with ‘Rapture’ and ‘Lion Roar’ where the listener is just getting hip to Ruffian as a rapper. And then he just smacks you in the face with some real heavy stuff. The heavy topics start with the track ‘What It Could Be’. Ruffian talks about his life in the ghetto and about the things that he did before he came to Christ. It adds a side that you don’t always see in hip hop let alone Christian Hip Hop. One last thing about this track and the rest of the album the cuts and scratches on this album are handled by EF Cuttin and he kills all of them.

“He Is There” is a perfect worship track and the title explains it all. It’s all about how God is there for us any, yes ANY time we need him. The track features Ruffian’s Scribbling Idiot brothers, Cas Metah who makes many appearances on this album and Elias who if you don’t know every song he appears on is an instant classic (see ‘All Love’ from Theory Hazit’s Lord Fire album). This is the song that you throw on when you feel like everything is against you, it’ll lift your soul in a heartbeat.

Now for the most part this album is solid effort all over and it’s hard to find a song that stands out, but “Rebuke” is my favorite track on this album. Ruffian is also part of the Underground Hip Hop group Field Specialists, he brings 2-Tone (who is also part of the group) along to sing the hook and let me tell you he destroys it. The idea of repentance is all throughout this track and it all flows together so well. This track will be on repeat for a real long time.

The album concludes in the perfect fashion with Ruffian dedicating a track to some children that are close to him with ‘To My Rascals’. The track reminds me of Theory Hazit’s ‘Hello Kiddez’ from his Extra Credit album. Thought P produced the beat and it fits nicely with the verses that Ruffian dedicates to someone he knows.

When it’s all said and done Ruffian comes with a very solid project that the listener is going to have to listen to numerous times in order to get the full gist of all the messages covered in these tracks. MattmaN covers most of the beats and kills them all, there are guest appearances everywhere and EF Cuttin handles all the scratches thus making this a solid album that deserves to be a part of your collection.

~ by Michael Stover on September 6, 2010.

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