As one half of the Atlanta, GA, based group The Hemisphere, Tariq L steps out of the shadows to release his debut solo effort "Beatz In My Lifetime Vol. 1". The emcee/producer's newest release mirrors a "Petestrumental" vibe, as the album features a variety of vocal and instrumental tracks.
With "Beatz In My Lifetime Vol. 1", Tariq offers a unique and original effort behind the boards, as his smooth, low-key production is a nice change of pace from the usual sounds plaguing Hip Hop today. His various instrumental gems are able to showcase the pure talent of Tariq L perfectly. The aptly titled "Paradise City" is a silky smooth effort that certainly does give you the vibe of laying on the beach somewhere just relaxing to the serene sounds of Tariq L. The album's intro beat is one of its finest efforts, as Tariq laces the track with some vintage kicks and snares that mix well with the songs melodic feel. The additional scratching added in is a nice addition as well, providing an overall landscape of perfection. The funky, head nodding sounds of "Stereo Freak" is another standout track, as is "Airlinez", a track that certainly does take the listener on a journey of its own.
While the instrumental pieces on "Beatz In My Lifetime Vol. 1" are certainly refreshing and original, the same cannot be said for the vocal tracks featured on the album. With a mix of spoken word pieces, R&B ballads and straight Hip Hop tracks, the album jumps from sound to sound while never really establishing a good pace or feel. The spoken words sounds of "Watch My Water" by Jessica Care Moore is a tedious effort that will only have the listener hitting the skip button half way through. The R&B influenced tracks "Wayz Of My World" by Aphro & "Again" by Imani Uzuri are also less than impressive efforts. Even the traditional boom bap sounds of "Whirlwindz" by The Hemisphere & Liuns Den's "Freestyle" tend to disappoint.
Tariq L certainly shows his production talent throughout "Beatz In My Lifetime", but unfortunately the album's inconsistent vocal tracks lower the overall experience. Nevertheless, if you are looking for that vintage jazz influenced production that will take you on a trip of its own, than look no further than Tariq L. While he may not be the undergrounds most prolific and well known producer, you cannot put a price on great music, and that’s what Tariq L brings to the table with his debut release.