"Ambassadors" is the first studio album from New Jersey hip-hop producer DUS. The album features guest appearances from Tragedy Khadafi, Roc Marciano, Killah Priest, Spit Gemz and others with all production being handled by DUS himself. It was released on June 25, 2013.
1) Ambassadors (featuring Tragedy Khadafi) - The first track on the album features Queensbridge legend Tragedy Khadafi spitting fire over a hypnotic instrumental that has some jazzy horns, cinematic strings and hard boom-bap drums. Tragedy is one of my favorite emcees of all time and he comes correct on here, rapping in his usual esoteric style:
"Connect the most toxic, verbal fiber-opticsToo bad this is so short since its really dope. Hopefully the rest of the album sounds this good.
UFO's, unidentified flying objects
Peep the last of the, streets embrace me like ambassadors
Icon, legend like an Acura"
2) Truth Serum (featuring Spit Gemz and Napoleon Da Legend) - Napoleon Da Legend and Brooklyn/Queens emcee Spit Gemz team up to spit some darts over a head-nodding instrumental that is full of intense energy. The beat is banging, with a sprinkle of soft piano keys over some synths and hard-ass drums. The beat is ill and both emcees rip it. This is really good.
3) Run Away (featuring Ceazar) - Staten Island representer Ceazar goes solo over another energetic instrumental, this time with a powerful rock music feel to it. This is actually my first time hearing Ceazar rap and he sounds real good. His raspy voice is unique and his lyrics and flow are both on point. Hopefully I'll get a chance to hear more from him in the future. Another dope track.
4) Casino (featuring Roc Marciano and DJ Kwestion) - This was one of the songs that was released in promotion of the album and its fire. The beat is dark, with a murky sample and gloomy drums, which is the perfect soundscape for Roc Marciano's violent lyrics and smooth flow. Roc has been consistently putting out dope music for years and this track is no exception.
"Call it the claw or the clapperThe beat is ill, Roc Marciano comes correct, and the scratching by DJ Kwestion just ties it all together. This is one of my favorite songs on the album. Very nice.
Your body hit the mat like snapper
I'm dapper, gunman and trapper
And Philly pump crack on master
Now I watch Shaft on the plasma"
5) Knees of Atlas (featuring Napoleon Da Legend) - Napoleon Da Legend returns for his solo track and its really good. The beat is fierce but has a breezy feel to it at the same time. Lyrically NDL does his thing and spits some braggadocio bars while flowing effortlessly over the instrumental. Very dope.
6) Lazarus (featuring Eloh Kush) - Eloh Kush (of Angelz Inc.) comes through to drop some gems over an ethereal instrumental that has some synth organs and ominous drums. Eloh Kush comes correct, spitting in his trademark arcane style and smooth flow:
"Abode of the angels, chipped up wings and glowing spike halosThis shit is raw. Another banger.
The walls got Sanskrit writing, I flow like the army of Poseidon
Two-fifths of Patron then I'm off into a Lichen"
7) The Fifth Element (featuring Shabaam Sahdeeq, Pryme Prolifik and Eloh Kush) - The beat on this song has some subtle strings and a prominent vocal sample that started to get a bit too repetitive as the song went on. It's ok, but definitely not my favorite instrumental on here. That being said, all three emcees do their thing and almost make up for the monotonous beat. Not bad, but not my favorite.
8) Only One (featuring Ceazar) - Ceazar returns with his second solo track on the album, this time with a more laid-back instrumental than on his first appearance. The beat is ill and Ceazar rips it. Very nice. I'm definitely going to check out some of his other songs in the near future.
9) Full Moon (featuring JoJo Pellegrino) - This is another one of the songs that was released in promotion of the album. The beat is dope, with a nice guitar loop and boom-bap drums. Shaolin's own JoJo Pellegrino does his thing and comes correct. This track is nice. Not my favorite on here, but nice nonetheless.
10) Among Us (featuring Killah Priest) - The final track on the album features Wu-Tang Clan affiliate and Sunz of Man member Killah Priest, who dropped one of the best albums of the year back in February. The beat suits Priest's style perfectly and features an acoustic guitar and triumphant synth horns over head-nodding drums. Walter Reed does not disappoint lyrically and bodies the track with his trademark religious references and vivid lyrics. Very nice way to close out the album.
I'm going to rate the album
4 / 5
because it's very dope the whole way through. DUS comes through nicely on the production tip, with the samples ranging from a variety of musical genres such as jazz and rock-n-roll. Don't be scared though, the beats are definitely all hip-hop. There are a few minor missteps, but nothing that really hurts the album all that much. As far as the guests go, pretty much every verse is dope, with even the lesser known emcees bringing their "A" game. The most surprising thing about the album is how well it flows together, since that is usually a weaker point for compilation albums with a bunch of different emcees. Very dope. Make sure you head on over to http://www.dusjustblazed.com/ to stream/purchase the full album It's easily one of the better underground hip-hop releases of the year.