“La ellah illa Allah illa Allah, your fuckin wit the god Escumar Asdubar”. Whether it has been his work with the legendary super group The Juice Crew, CNN, or his own solo ventures, Tragedy Khadafi has remained one of the industries most prolific, gifted and well respected emcees ever to emerge from the infamous Queens Bridge housing projects. His style is distinct, persona is rugged and his music is the epitome of the streets. But unlike most street influenced emcees, Tragedy has a multitude of layers to his game. He has never been your ordinary gun busting emcee from Q.B.; instead he has been an artist with a distinct message and calling. He is a solider not only for the streets but also the people. Tragedy’s “message has always been about the plight of the underclass and its struggle against indifference”. This is never more evident than on the latest saga in the Tragedy Khadafi legacy “Still Reportin”.
“Still Reportin” is a street influence album of course, but what make's it special is the power, emotion and aura behind each of Tragedy’s triumphant songs. As always, Tragedy has produced an album with not only meaning and substance but an album that is a representation of the poor man’s struggle in this world. Whether its addressing the tragic events of 9/11 and the struggle of the black man in society on “Walk Wit Me (911)”, the sincere dedication to his mother “Crying On The Inside” or the pain rap of “The Message (Aura Check)” & “Hood Love”, Tragedy has managed to produce an album with depth. Leading to one powerful experience that will keep each listener captivated from beginning to end.
While many of the versatile attempts on “Still Reportin” are the albums standout moments, Tragedy of course gives us your typical hard-core, gritty Q.B. tales we have all come to love from the man. “Neva Die Alone Pt. 2” is an outstanding storytelling track from Tragedy, who does a nice job of vividly depicting the story he is painting with his precise wordplay. Scram Jones laces the track's production masterfully with a perfectly placed vocal sample that manages to capture the essence and concept of the track. “Still Reportin” features one of the best production efforts on the album due to yet another great vocal sample, this time by up and coming producer Booth, who’s work on the album stands out as one of the high points.
“Hood”, “Eloheem” & “The Truth” featuring Christ Castro are more superb efforts from the underrated emcee. As well as the standout collaborations with Havoc & Littles on “The Code”, Capone, Littles & V-12 on “U Make Me” and the street anthem of “Fall Back” featuring Havoc. But what makes tracks like these and a majority of the album a huge success is the production side of the album. While big Q.B. names such as Havoc & Alchemist are not present on the album, one wouldn’t be able to tell as producers Booth, Scram Jones & Dart La lace the production side of the album perfectly. Tragedy has always had a keen ear for great production and this is never more evident than on “Still Reportin”. Don’t let the names fool you, the production side of “Still Reportin” is one of the best to come out of Queens Bridge in years. Whether it’s the amazing vocal samples or rugged baselines, the production will surely have you nodding your head until it can no longer move.
Just as “The War Report” was able to capture the raw essence of Q.B. Hip Hop, “Still Reportin” follows in its footsteps as a great sequel that manages to portray the same distinct sound. And while Tragedy has remained one of the most underrate emcees in the game for years, maybe with this release the man will finally get the credit he deserves. He is not your average “thugged out” emcee. He is a poet for the streets and a leader of the people. With a commanding presence and aura about him, Tragedy is a figure that demands attention when upon the mic. “Still Reportin” showcases this in a way never seen before from Khadafi and the final results are magnificent. And whether you recognize the man's talent or not, he will always be an exemplification of what the streets are about.