Shames Worthy “the album” Review

Some know him as Shames Worthy some know him as Raphi, the latter name is no longer his rap name. If you don’t know by now Shames Worthy is a Tunnel Rat and what some call the third honorary member of LPG. His debut album “Cali Quake” came out in 2002, after listening to interview I learned it was comprised of some older tracks recorded beforehand. Regardless I thought that the record was a solid effort, I don’t think it was a classic but solid nonetheless. Here we are 9 years later and I have at least 20 tracks featuring the Tunnel Rat (this doesn’t include any of his solo work or any Tunnel Rat group album). Shames has been grinding hard for a long time and it all leads up to this release “the album”.

The first thing I need to say about this album is that you can hear the evolution and maturity in Shames from “Cali Quake” to now. I can hear Shames trying to prove himself to not just his listeners and himself, but at the same time he knows he’s a veteran with talent. It all starts with “The Anthem” it’s his anthem, it’s L.A’s anthem. The track once again shows the veteran talent that he possess, but at the same time shows a sense of urgency:

“As you’ve heard I kill a verse, I need to learn to write a song”

Next in line we haved “Fly” it’s all about the battle that we all receive when chasing our dreams. You got “haters” you got “lovers”, you got people that try their best to bring you down and you got people that do their best to lift you up. Shames covers both side of the coin on this but at the same time shows his resilience in his ability to take what haters say and just soar up above all the nonsense talk.

Before I talk about the next track, I wanna talk about the production a bit. It’s straight amazing, it has a little bit of everything on this release. From bangers, to more chill production (which I’ll get to in a minute), but the production that really struck me on this album was the more epic movie battle type beats…..enter “Rude Awakening” which features Abstract Rude. Apparently both guys went to school together, I believe Shames said Abstract was a year or two ahead of him. But the track is all about how the two of them got started in the hip hop game. The beat is absolutely insane and of course the two of them kill it.

“Life Is Like A Sport” has a beat that kind has that same epic movie battle music feel to it, no it doesn’t sound the same as “Rude Awakening” but it has that same vibe. Shames goes in on this one, he actually handles the track rather creatively, full of sports metaphors mentioning every sport from basketball to tennis and everything in between.

I’m going to skip “Still Around” which features one of my all-time favorites Jurny Big and I’ll also skip the single “Ride On” because if you haven’t downloaded it yet, you’re truly missing out. I will say this about “Ride On” the beat is so chill there’s no way that a hip hop fan can’t like the joint. “I Love The Energy” is a track produced by Future Shock/Tunnel Rat member Sojourn. It’s all about the love of jumping on stage and performing for a crowd. The energy is something that’s unexplainable, but it’s a feeling that feels so good (yeah that’s right I know what it feels like, but uhhh let me say that Shames Worthy does a better job than I could ever do).

Shames Worthy kills this album, if you ever had any doubts about him, they should be tossed out the window after listening to this album. Now I can’t lie I really would’ve liked to hear more guests but I think him having only two guests are part of him showing the audience that he can hold his own without a bunch of other people holding the mike. While there isn’t many new albums out yet here in 2011, I think when December rolls around “the album” will be in contention of album of the year. Pick it up now and don’t miss out and I’m praying that this won’t be the last album that we hear from Shames Worthy, because he is indeed worthy of your respect.

Rating: 4.5/5 (Almost Classic)

If You Can’t Buy The Album Download These Songs

1.      Ride On

2.      The Anthem

3.      Rude Awakening feat. Abstract Rude

4.      Still Around

5.      I Love The Energy

~ by Michael Stover on March 26, 2011.

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