Vinnie Paz - Season of the Assassin (Review)

Vinnie Paz - Season of the Assassin (cover)

Season of the Assassin is the first solo album from Jedi Mind Tricks member Vinnie Paz. The album, released in 2010, continues with the aggressive beats and lyrics that are so prevalent on Jedi Mind Tricks albums. So how does Vinnie's first solo effort stack up against his group albums? Click to find out.

1) Intro - The album starts off with Vinnie Paz talking over a ManyBeats instrumental. Nothing really special here. Next.

2) Beautiful Love - Vinnie Paz spits some fire over a dope beat by Shuko. Vinnie's style has always been real aggressive and he doesn't tone it down on here. The beat is full of energy and suits his flow nicely. The album is off to a good start so far.

3) Monster's Ball - Stu Bangas provides an energetic instrumental and Vinnie Paz rips it.
"I was there when all the planets was born
Before the Continental Drift and when Atlantis was formed
When Gandhi told the Indians to stand and be strong
And took the British out with intellect in spite of their brawn"
This is dope. I'm not missing Jus Allah at all so far.

4) Pistolvania (featuring Freeway and Jakk Frost) - The C-Lance piano loop on here is a bit darker than on the previous two songs, but still brings the energy. Freeway and Vinnie Paz destroy the beat, but I'm less impressed with Jakk Frost.

5) End of Days (featuring Block McCloud) - Sicknature provides a dope piano sample for Vinnie to get paranoid over. This is a conspiracy theory song and its not too bad, but I'm not feeling the chorus by Block McCloud. This seems a bit like filler to me, but I understand what he was going for with the lyrics.

6) Righteous Kill - Not really feeling the beat on here by Lord Finesse and Davel "Bo" McKenzie. It's not terrible, but its lacking something for me. Vinnie sounds about the same as he has on every song so far - angry. Eh, this is also filler for me and I normally love Lord Finesse beats.

7) No Spiritual Surrender (featuring Sick Jacken) - Ok now this is dope. DJ Muggs (of Cypress Hill) provides a head nodding banger for Vinnie to rip. The chorus by Sick Jacken is ok, but it doesn't really detract from the song much.
"I'm the father of anything that's been done before
I was sparring with you, I ain't even begun the war
I like darkness, I don't know what the sun is for
Y'all have small hammers, y'all must be the son of Thor"
8) Street Wars (featuring Clipse and Block McCloud) - Another dope beat by Shuko and Fonty. Both Vinnie and The Clipse spit some street lyrics - would you expect anything else? I'm really not feeling these Bock McCloud choruses though. The song is not that bad overall though.

9) Ain't Shit Changed (featuring Lawrence Arnell) - Vinnie Paz raps about how fame has not changed him over a MTK banger. The instrumental is pretty chaotic, but is full of energy and doesn't pull your attention away from the lyrics. The chorus by Lawrence Arnell is much better than the past few have been.

10) Aristotle's Dilemma - Madlib's instrumental on here lacks the aggressiveness prevalent on the first half of the album, but the change of pace is nice. The beat is dope and Vinnie Paz rips it. This song is kind of like the calm during the eye of the storm - a quick breather before the energy picks up again.

11) Kill 'Em All (featuring Beanie Sigel) - And the tempo picks back up. This time C-Lance provides a dope vocal chant and cinematic strings over hard drums. Vinnie Paz sounds right at home over the beat and Beanie Sigel manages to come out of a codeine-induced coma to spit a dope verse.

12) Keep Movin' On (featuring Shara Worden) - Woah. The energy dipped quicker than I thought it would. MoSS provides an ill piano sample for Vinnie to get personal on. This is dope.

13) Brick Wall (featuring Ill Bill and Demoz) - You can probably tell exactly what the beat sounds like based off the guests on this song. If you couldn't guess, the instrumental by C-Lance is made up of an electric guitar and some upbeat drums. This isn't too bad, but pales in comparison to some of the better tracks on here.

14) Role of Life - Speaking of better tracks, Bronze Nazareth drops a head nodding banger and Vinnie destroys it. The vocal sample is dope and has a nice throwback feel, but the drums hit hard. This is one of my favorite songs on here.
"I write in the rain, turn beautiful night into pain
I turn life into a frightening game
I don't have love in me, it's just ice in my veins
My fist Hammer of Thor, I Tyson the game"
Vinnie really likes his Thor references.

15) Nosebleed (featuring R.A. the Rugged Man and Amalie Bruun) - The piano-based beat, provided by DC the MIDI Alien, is a nice backdrop for R.A. the Rugged Man and Vinnie Paz to spit their braggadocio rhymes over. Once again, I'm not really feeling the chorus on here. I was hoping this was going to be a bit stronger. Oh well.

16) WarMonger - Fizzy Womack (aka Lil Fame of M.O.P.) drops a dope beat for Vinnie to destroy. I remember this track getting a lot of hate when the album first dropped, but I always thought it was banging.
"It ain't a rapper competing with my obnoxiousness
It ain't nobody that's equal to my accomplishments
The Desert Eagle is legal and it astonishes
The AR15 diesel and blow your mom to bits
It's hard to catch me, I'm Thurman Munson and Carlton Fisk"
17) Paul and Paz (featuring Paul Wall and Block McCloud) - Now this is a strange combination. C-Lance's beat is pretty ill, with a nice vocal sample and some keys. Block McCloud doesn't totally ruin the song on here - he lets Paul Wall do that instead. Bleh.

18) Bad Day - I thought this song had a nice throwback feel to it before I noticed it was produced by Da Beatminerz. This is pretty ill and Vinnie tones down the energy a bit to get introspective again.

19) Washed in the Blood of the Lamb - I think this was the first beat produced by Wu-Element 4th Disciple in quite some time back in 2010. The beat is dark, but is disappointing coming from the guy who produced the classic Killarmy's Silent Weapons For Quiet Wars and most of Killah Priest's Heavy Mental. Still it's not THAT bad and Vinnie rips it. Despite all that, I quite like this song.

20) Drag You To Hell - The best part about this DJ Kwestion beat is the Sticky Fingaz sample on the chorus. The rest is a bit boring. Vinnie is typical Vinnie. Not a highlight for me.

21) Same Story (My Dedication) (featuring Liz Fullerton) - Vinnie Paz gets instropsective again and dedicates this song as an ode to his stepfather. The beat, produced by Scott Stallone, is dope and helps to convey Vinnie's emotion. Nice way to close out the album.

I'm going to rate the album a

4 / 5

since there are some really great songs on here, but quite a bit of filler as well. I think the album should have been cut down from 21 tracks to something more like 15 or 16 really strong tracks. Still, the album shows that Vinnie Paz can make a dope solo record and doesn't need to lean on the Jedi Mind Tricks name.


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