Dirt Platoon and Kyo Itachi - War Face (Review)

Dirt Platoon - Warface (cover)

"War Face" is a collaboration album between Dirt Platoon (consisting of Baltimore emcees Raf Almighty and Snook da Crook) and producer Kyo Itachi, who handles production duties on the entire album. The LP features guest appearances from Ruste Juxx, Dro Pesci, Skanks (of Bankai Fam), Shabaam Sahdeeq and Milez Grimez and was released on May 20, 2013.

1) The Intro - Just an intro.

2) Animal Shit - The album kicks off with an energetic piano instrumental that is sure to get your head nodding right out the gate. The beat is raw and both Raf Almighty and Snook da Crook bring it with their rugged flows and aggressive lyrics. This was the first single from the album and it's very, very dope. Hopefully the rest of the LP is this good because this song is fire.

3) Army of Two - Kyo Itachi turns down the energy level a bit after the merciless "Animal Shit" and comes through with a dark boom-bap instrumental that is dope as hell. The beat reminds me of something you would have heard coming from the Gangstarr Foundation in the 90s, with some ill scratches and a chopped up loop, but modernized. Raf and Snook spit about how they are down for each other no matter what. Another banger.

4) Dirty Work (featuring Ruste Juxx) - The beat on this song is another gritty, 90s influenced, Beatminerz-esque banger that perfectly complements the in-your-face styles and lyrics of all three emcees on the track. Ruste Juxx has great chemistry with Dirt Platoon and hopefully they work together more in the future. Ruste and Kyo Itachi already released an ill collaboration album, "Hardbodie Hip Hop", that maybe I'll get a chance to review some time. This is probably my favorite song on here so far. Absolute fire! If you know nothing about these guys make sure you watch the video below to get a good feeling for their sound.

5) West Bmore (Skit) - Skit.

6) West BMore (Story) - Raf and Snook spit a street story over an instrumental with some dusty drums and cinematic string samples. This is dope, but it's not one of my favorite songs on the album. It does have some ill scratches at the end though.

7) Old Times Sake - This song starts out with KRS-One speaking on writing battle verses about everyone in the Billboard Top 10. Anybody know where that sample is from? I've never heard it before. Anyways, this song has another banging beat, this time with a horn sample and more militant feel to it. Like the other songs, both emcees come correct and rip the beat. Very dope.

8) Brainstorming - I'm really feelin the instrumental on this song. It's very atmospheric and dark and the drums are real gritty. Both Raf and Snook tone down their aggressive deliveries a bit to fit with the darker tone of the instrumental. There is also a bit of humor on here:
"I ain't paid, but I'm thirsty as fuck
I'm like three zeroes down from Ruck
Where my mills at?"
I guess Sean P isn't the brokest rapper you know. Very dope. This album is crazy so far.

9) Point of Attack (featuring Dro Pesci, Skanks (of Bankai Fam), Shabaam Sahdeeq and Milez Grimez) - Back on the aggressive tip. This is the only posse cut on the LP and its dope as hell. The beat is raw and everyone comes correct. There is a little sample that only comes in during the chorus that sounds exactly like something off of Killarmy's classic "Silent Weapons For Quiet Wars". The only bad thing about this song is that it is almost 6 minutes long, but that's just a minor issue since the song bangs.

10) Wage of War - Speaking of Killarmy, this song sounds just like a modernized version of something off of one of their albums, which is DOPE. The beat is dark and militant and both Raf and Snook rip it. This song is straight fire and is one of my favorites on here.

11) Dose of Reality - This album just doesn't let up. The beat on here is dreary and somber, but the drums hit hard and it sounds really ill. Raf and Snook trade verses about getting their life right. The vocals are a tad distorted on this song which adds to it's depressing feel, but it's not noticeable enough to detract from the tracks enjoyment. Nice.

12) The Closer - This is the last actual song on the LP and its banging. The beat starts out seeming like it will be slightly repetitive, but once the full beat kicks in during the chorus its beautiful. This song is seriously ill. Great way to close out the album.

13) The Outro - Skit.

I'm going to rate the album

4.5 / 5

because its FIRE the whole way through. Kyo Itachi is in beast-mode on this LP and crafts some hard hitting boom bap instrumentals that are definite head-nodders. Dirt Platoon come correct on each song, spitting hardcore street lyrics with their aggressive, in-your-face style. The only bad thing is the relative shortness of the album, since it left me wanting more. I wish there were more songs and less skits on here, but thats a minor issue. The album also comes with a second cd of remixes, all of which are really dope as well. I HIGHLY recommend this album if you like that gritty, hardcore, boom-bap style of hip-hop. This is one of the best releases of 2013 for me.


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