7L & Esoteric - Dangerous Connection   
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written by Jay    
In 1999, the Boston duo of DJ 7L & MC Esoteric dropped their first album, a seven track EP entitled 'Speaking Real Words.' With this release the group gained some notoriety within the underground scene. In 2001, 7L&ES released their first full-length album, 'The Soul Purpose.' Now, in 2002, 7L&ES drop their highly anticipated 'Dangerous Connection' LP. On this thirteen track album, 7L produces ten. Esoteric once again comes with a battle orientated rhyme scheme, but he switches up from his last album by putting together four conceptual songs. The best example being "Terrorist's Cell" produced by Stoupe from Jedi Mind Tricks. Eso rhymes about the 9/11 tragedy, yet he is speaking as if he was in the eyes of the terrorist. This is a gem features some very vivid lyricism, "The plan takes effect and my heart fills with fright/ Plus these strippers last night had me thinking life is alright/ I take a look around and see all types of faces/ Men with suitcases, little girls with braces." Another example of a conceptual cut is "Word Association." A a hilarious concept - Esoteric is basically sitting in a psychiatrist's office and the psychiatrist is throwing Eso words. When Eso gets a word he spits the first thing that comes to his mind. The other conceptual tracks are also a success, with "Stalker" where Eso is stalking a girl and then "Rest in Peace" produced by KutMaster Kurt.

If you don't care about conceptual tracks but you just want the type of tracks that gave Eso his rep then go no further then the second song on the album called "Watch Me." 7L puts together a classic beat for Esoteric to rhyme over, if you can't afford the album, pick up the single. In my opinion, the album's best track is "Precision" in which Esoteric goes back to his original form and rips the mic apart. Other honorable mentions are the banger "Speak Now" featuring Vinnie Paz and Apathy (Demigodz) and the reminiscing track "Rules of Engagement" featuring J-Live & Count Bass D.

Even the simplest tracks like "Herb" where Eso spits different examples of people being fakes over a 7L produced bag-pipe track, are a success on this project. If you can't see where I'm going by now then you're a rookie. This album is a huge improvement from the last. From the first track when Esoteric says "I am hip-hop, so if I ever bite a line/ I'm just taking back what's rightfully mine" to the last track where Eso spits "Fuck battlin' cats/ I'm Jim Abbotin' cats/ which means single handedly I'm embarrassing cats." Those two punch-lines alone sum up this album: hard hitting, vicious rhymes, straight hip-hop, and a little bit of comedy. That's not even to mention the ill ass beats all around. One thing I failed to mention until now, was something that didn't improve. That is 7L's ability to scratch in a hook. This guy has been #1 in my book since the first time I heard him on the twos. That said, there is no room for improvement when it comes to 7L on the tables.

Overall, this album is everything a 7L & Esoteric fan could ask for. People wanted better production and they got it. People wanted more conceptual songs and they got it. People wanted less filler tracks and they got it. The only thing I could ask for is a couple more non-filler tracks, but the saying is quality not quantity, and that's what we received.









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