I first heard certain tracks off of this EP back in May with Asia sitting nearby me. What I heard back then I found to be pretty smooth, and I found myself waiting to hear its proper release. During the evening I spent with Asia and 427 we spoke about Asia signing with Interscope (which back then was only just being solidified), this EP is Asia's last effort before he begins fulfilling his new commitments with Interscope.
What Asia has above anything else is mic presence that resounds throughout the EP. 'The Last Stand' also features a host of dope beats created by the likes of 427 (who's also Asia's manager), Amp Live, Rickochet, and King Koncepts.
With the mic presence and beats there, all you need now is the lyrics to be straight, the featured guests to live up to expectations and the hooks to work. Well, I'd like to say on the whole this is the case. But it isn't. There are nice joints, the best example being the EP's gem 'Takin' Ova' featuring 427. Where over a cool beat, the close friends drop some nice rhymes and create a dope cut. However, Shake on 'Stupid,' plus the EP's worst beat and Asia's mediocre hook does not combine to form a dope cut. The only thing that saves the track is Asia's lyrics, but they're only about 1/5 of what makes up the track.
Another joint which left me disappointed was 'Head Honchos' featuring Punchline. Asia rhymed well, but I didn't feel Punchline lived up to the lyrical expectations, which were put on him by me in order to make the cut work. The beat is very monotonous and therefore the emcee above it has to hold it down, Asia does on his rhymes, but the hook and Punchline's parts don't do it for me.
The EP also features 'Hold The Crown,' 'You Can't Miss,' 'You & Yours' (the only rn'b themed cut) featuring Mei Lani and 'Weight,' all of which impressed me to a fairly high level.
'The Last Stand' serves as a nice EP, it could have been more enjoyable had Asia left off a couple of hooks and a couple of guests, however, as it is, with joints like 'Takin Ova' and 'You Can't Miss' you have some dope joints, which are reason enough to check this out.