While many albums seems to come out weeks after being announced, waiting for Inspectah Deck's LP has been a trying experience at best. Release date after pushed back release date has passed, with no sign of a finished record. Though Loud seem to be having trouble releasing CDs and Mobb Deep's new album is getting more promotion, I'm happy to say that I'm reviewing Inspectah Deck's debut. So, does it live up to the hype?
To be honest, not really. You see, while 'Uncontrolled Substance' is very good, expectations were so high that it was bound to disappoint. But lets start off with the good points. The obligatory Wu-tang posse cuts are here, with '9th Chamber' and 'Grand Prix' representing that a nice track featuring several wu members can still be made, despite the criticism that wu has been receiving as of late. Though it is far too short for decent verses from all participants, '9th Chamber' is the better of the two with LA the Darkman, Street Life and Killa Sin rapping over a track reminiscent of older Wu-Tang times.
However, Deck can still carry a song by himself, don't worry about that. 'REC Room,' which has been floating around since Loud's 'Brolic' compilation was released, is Deck at his best, over a nice beat kicking his usual high-quality lyricism. 'Movers and Shakers,' another upbeat track, is also masterfully rhymed over by deck, showing his large amount of skill and talent. The last track on the LP, 'Show and Prove,' features lyrics which touch more depth than Deck usually does, and shows that he can pull this off with ease.
Deck also manages to show his versatility on several tracks where he weaves a tale together, including 'Word on The Street' and 'Femme Fatale,' both telling interesting stories and putting Deck over nice beats. Other tracks including 'Longevity' show that over almost any kind of production the Rebel INS manages to stay consistent and proves himself to one of the finest emcees currently making music for a major label.
But, just as great production made the old Wu albums classic, generic, unoriginal beats keep 'Uncontrolled Substance' from being in the same league as 'Only Built 4 Cuban Linx' and 'Liquid Swords.' Even the better sounding tracks sound pretty dull when in comparison to the finer moments of RZA, True Master or 4th Disciple. Though this doesn't take anything away from Deck's rapping, it makes the album as a whole worse.
In the end, if you've waiting years to hear Inspectah Deck make a full LP, you will most likely not be happy with 'Uncontrolled Substance.' However, after you've taken a bit of time to get used to the tracks and tune into Deck's lyrics, you're sure to get some rotation out of this record. Recomended, but not as highly as I'd have liked.