Upstart label Nature Sounds and The Prof. want to school you on some real underground Hip Hop. While not as revered as he should be, The Prof. has remained one of the undergrounds most overlooked producers, as he has worked with a multitude of artists, ranging from MF Doom to Masta Killa . His newest release "Convexed" is a solid attempt at an underground compilation album that certainly has its high moments, but unfortunately also has its lows.
With "Convexed" the listener is treated to a variety of artists and sounds. However, the constant remains The Prof.'s impressive production. The Prof. definitely earns a high mark with his production effort for the album. Hip Hop purists will certainly rejoice, as The Prof.'s true school, throwback production offers a welcomed and much needed nostalgia in this day and age. His work on MF Doom's two offerings "Bells Of Doom" and "All Outta Ale" personify both his own and Doom's style perfectly. The dark, powerful sounds of "Bells Of Doom" is easily one of the album's highlights. The listener is of course treated to a exquisite MF Doom lyrical performance, but would you expect anything different? The Wu-Tang's very own Masta Killa also offers his own brand of lyrical excellence, as the dark and gripping "The Day After" is vintage MK at his finest. Cannibal Ox comes together for a solid effort on "Handle That", but its Vordul's two cuts "In The Hood" and "Never Gonna Hurt Again", which steal the show. Both tracks feature nice vocal samples by The Prof. and Opto, who produces "Never Gonna Hurt Again".
While The Prof. and the artists mentioned above easily get an A for their effort on "Convexed", the same cannot be said for the rest of the class. Emcees such as Sean Price & Mr. Eon, Timboking & RA The Rugged Man, Space & Aesop Rock not only manage to fail with their respective efforts, they would literally need a curve just to get near a passing grade. The usual abstract ramblings of Aesop on "Numb (To The Guns)" is about what you would expect from the Def Juxie. While the same can be said for Sean Price & Mr. Eon's predictable effort on "Come On Now", a boring braggadocios ride that is two minutes and twenty five seconds too long. The two efforts by Timboking & RA The Rugged Man are equally as disappointing, "Aloha" and "Black & White". Other efforts on the album also fail to provide memorable experiences, such as Bootie Brown's "I Smoke", "Spinning" by Zion I and "Dro Grown" by Count Bass D.
Unfortunately "Convexed" falls into the same category that most compilation albums do these days. While the album has its shining moments, filler tracks tend to drag the album down. The Prof. does his part by providing each artist with solid to great production, but somewhere after that the ball was dropped. Overall, The Prof. passes his own test with a C, but like most students of the game that won't be good enough for him. to live with.