Binary Star - Binary Star EP (Review)

Binary Star - Binary Star EP (cover)

Binary Star is a duo hailing from Michigan consisting of emcees/producers One Be Lo and Senim Silla. The group dropped their debut album, Waterworld, in 1999 and then dropped an expanded version of it, Masters of the Universe, in 2000. After that, the group went on hiatus as One Be Lo and Senim Silla worked on releasing solo albums. On March 29, 2013, Binary Star released the Binary Star EP, which is their first album in over thirteen years. Masters of the Universe is one of my favorite hip-hop albums of all time, so I was very excited to hear about the new EP.

1) NoitavO - The EP kicks off with a mellow, subdued One Man Army beat that sounds like its a sample being played backwards. This makes sense given the title of the song, which is "Ovation" spelled backwards, and the fact that the liner notes are all backwards for this track. Both One Be Lo and Senim Silla sound good on here, but not as good as they have in the past. Their rhyme schemes are still very complex and their flows are smooth, but they just seem a tad rusty (especially Senim Silla). Still, rusty for them is still better than 95% of what's out there. Dope way to come back after thirteen years.

2) Love is Love - The beat, provided by Unjust, is a bit more energetic than the first track and its dope. It has a nice vocal sample that is muffed and sounds like it's one of the bottom layers of the instrumental. One Be Lo and Senim Silla both come correct. It's great to hear these guys together again since they have always had great chemistry. I'm feelin this track.

3) Wait - This is banging. The Malaki the Most Hi beat is ill and switches up a few times throughout the song, which keeps things interesting. The drums are hard and got my head nodding like crazy. This seems to be a Senim Silla solo track and he is spitting fire on here. This is probably my favorite song on the EP so far.

4) Big Bad Wolf - And this is probably my least favorite. The instrumental, by One Man Army, is upbeat and funky, but feels a bit disjointed to me. I'd probably say the same for the lyrics as neither verse really grabbed my attention like some of the other songs on here have. That being said, the song is not terrible, it's just not a standout for me.

5) Thumper aka the Caped Crusader aka the King James Diversion - GasMaskeDaily produces the final song on the EP and its banging. The instrumental is a dope piano loop with some hard drums. One Be Lo goes solo over it and rips it. This song tied with Wait (the Senim Silla solo track) for being my favorite song on the album. Very dope.

6) Autocons Interlude - Just an outro.

The EP comes with four bonus tracks - New Hip Hop, Slang Blade, Glen Close and Conquistador - all of which were on Masters of the Universe, so I'm not going to review them here.

I'm going to rate the EP a

3.5 / 5

since it's pretty dope, but it's not as ill as Binary Stars previous material. It's unfair to compare material released by a group thirteen years after they first dropped to their original material, but I found myself doing just that throughout the entire EP. Still, the beats are consistently good throughout the album, with only a few minor missteps here or there. Both One Be Lo and Semin Silla come correct lyrically and flow-wise, but they both seem to be a bit out of practice (especially Semin Silla). They seem to hit their stride perfectly on a few songs though and I can't wait to hear more from them.


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