Killah Priest - Heavy Mental (Throwback Review)

Killah Priest - Heavy Mental

With Killah Priest recently dropping his extremely dope new album The Psychic World of Walter Reed, I decided to dig out my favorite album from him - 1998's Heavy Mental. This was Priests first solo album and actually ended up coming out before his first group album with Sunz of Man - The Last Shall Be First. I remember scrounging the internet looking for Real Audio leaks off of this album since I was fiending for it after his appearances on various Wu-Tang projects. Just mentioning Real Audio makes me feel old. Anyways, how is the album? Click to find out.

1) Intro - The album starts out with a skit taken from a movie titled The Egyptian. It sets the tone of the album, but that's about it. Next.

2) One Step (featuring Tekitha and Hell Razah) - The beat, produced by one of the original Wu-Element producers True Master, is extremely dope. This sample got more exposure after Heavy Mental was released when it showed up on Dilated Peoples Worst Comes to Worst title track, which was produced by Alchemist. Anyways, I have always loved this song and thought Killah Priest completely bodied the track. Tekitha and Hell Razah provide the chorus - "Your arms too short to box with God." If I remember correctly, there was a video for this song since it was one of the singles from the album. Great track.

3) Blessed Are Those - Produced by Y-Kim, the beat is kind of plodding with a heavy bass and some low vocal samples woven throughout. Despite the boring beat, Killah Priests verses on here won a "Hip Hop Quotable" award in The Source back in 1998. Great lyrics, boring beat. A big step down from the previous track.

4) From Then Till Now - Another song produced by Y-Kim. This time the instrumental is more upbeat, but has very little going on with it in the beginning. About half-way into Killah Priests first verse, the beat adds a haunting vocal sample and some cinematic elements that make it a lot better. Priest's verses are some of my favorite on this album and are about how different things were in the past compared to modern times.

5) Cross My Heart (featuring Inspectah Deck and Gza) - Killah Priest, Deck and Gza over a True Master banger. This was the first single from the album and the video was crazy. The beat gets your head nodding and all three emcees destroy it.

6) Fake MC's - This is 4th Disciples first production credit on the album. The beat is a slower piano loop and, as you would expect from the title, Killah Priest goes off on fake MCs. Not bad, but not a highlight.

7) Its Over - There is a long build up until this 4th Disciple banger beings. Priest brings some crazy energy on this track. Nice.

8) Crusaids (featuring Tekitha) - This is just a skit produced by 4th Disciple and features Killah Priest and Tekitha talking over it. Supposedly this is just a sample of the full song, which is said to of have featured Sunz Of Man and Rose Cartel. Hopefully that gets released some day.

9) Tai Chi (featuring Hell Razah and 60 Second Assassin) - This is probably my favorite song on the album. Both Killah Priest and Hell Razah completely destroy the beat, provided by 4th Disciple. The same cannot be said for 60 Second Assassin, who sounds very out of place on here. This song also has one of my favorite Killah Priest verses ever.

10) Heavy Mental - Produced by Killah Priest himself, this song set the stage for a multitude of drum-less beats that Priest has rapped over throughout the years. The lyrics on here are deep as Priest takes us on a space voyage in the mental. Great song.

11) If You Don't Know (featuring Ol' Dirty Bastard) - True Master delivers one of my favorite beats on the album. ODB only provides the chorus, but its dope. I really miss the energy and spontaneity that he always brought to songs. As always, Killah Priest rips the beat to shreds. This is a banger.

12) Atoms To Adam (featuring Shanghai the Messenger) - 4th Disciple provides a dark and gritty, yet atmospheric beat for Priest to destroy. The chorus by Shanghai The Messenger is a bit too long and drawn out in my opinion, but Priests lyrics are really dope on here.

13) High Explosives - This is the only beat on the album by Arabian Knight, and its a banger. The beat is really dark and Priest sounds great over it. For some reason I remember people not liking this song back when the album dropped, but I always thought it was a great song.

14) Wisdom - 4th Disciple is back and provides another great instrumental for Priest to body. "Abortin' the River Jordan like a RZA recordin' / Fourth disciple, bring forth the cycle / Or a tidal wave, it's like a Bible page." I've always wondered about those lyrics. Was he going at RZA a bit on there?

15) B.I.B.L.E - This song was first released as the final song on GZA's Liquid Swords album. This is one of the best songs on here and one of Killah Priests best songs ever. 4th Disciples beat is fire and Priest drops knowledge like crazy.
"Life is a test many quest the universe
And through my research I felt the joy and the hurt
The first shall be last and the last shall be first
The Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth"
16) Mystic City (featuring Shanghai the Messenger) - The chorus by Shanghai the Messenger is much better on here than on Atoms To Adam and 4th Disciples beat is great. Priest sounds hungry on here. Another banger.

17) Information - The beat by 4th Disciple is pretty good and Priest is dropping conspiracy theories on here. Good, but not a highlight for me.

18) Science Project (featuring Hell Razah) - The instrumental, yet again by 4th Disciple, begins with a heavy horn sample, but then changes pace once the dusty drums kick in. Priest and Hell Razah spit a street story on here. Not bad.

19) Almost There - The 4th Disciple beat on here is crazy, with all kinds of sounds coming in and out. Very chaotic beat, but Killah Priest rips it to shreds. Nice!

20) The Professional - The beat, provided by John The Baptist, is quite odd and sounds a bit out of place on the album. That being said, the song is a banger and a great way to end the album.

So there you have it. I'm going to rate the album a

4.5 / 5

due to a few weak choruses and beats. The lyrics are deep and though provoking, but some people may complain about Priest's monotone flow. I have always been a fan of it, but I can see how others may not be. Either way, this is one of the better Wu-Fam albums ever released and can be considered a classic simply due to it standing the test of time.


Post a Comment