The term "internet emcee" makes a lot of hip-hop listeners cringe. They're all hermits with awkward flows and beats made in ten minutes with Fruity Loops, right? A veteran of the online text scene, Sankofa is an emcee with an overwhelming delivery and some breathtaking intricately crafted lyrics, written or otherwise. In the absence of a talented producer at his disposable, the man with a billion and eight rhymes has put together this highly enjoyable set of blazing verses over recycled production.
The production will probably be where most listeners are split over this release. A collection of the emcee's favorite tracks, most of the beats are more Manny Fresh than DJ Premier. While most Sankofa listeners probably aren't the type to bump 'Guerilla Warfare' in their jeep, it's unique to hear a talented underground emcee over beats that would often be frowned upon.
Still, anyone buying 'The Igloo Mix' for its production probably needs his head examined. The collection of mostly off the dome lyricism is quite astounding, with Sankofa's complex rhyme schemes staying consistent even while they're improvised. Although there's a noticeable difference in the tempo of his flow between the 11(!) freestyled songs and the 6 pre-written ones, he hugs the beat impressively all on songs. The titles of the freestyled songs look like they're been cut out of a book's index, but notable favorites of mine are 'Bektashis 63,65' and 'Benedictine guidance of souls.' The written songs are superior in more than just name though; the delivery on songs like 'Box Scores' and 'beatjackolantern II' is far more cohesive than the sometimes sloppy freestyled raps.
Although it's certainly a stunning display of the art of emceeing, 'The Igloo Mix' is little more than a Sankofa showcase, and occasionally sloppy editing (crackles on songs, tracks ending in the middle of a verse) hinders it slightly. Although it's not an important release for Sankofa (look towards his upcoming solo project 'Rosetta Stone'), there is much quality on each hand-written CD-R. Now all we need are some original beats.