The Savage and Taariq - The Dichotomy EP (Review)

The Savage and Taariq - The Dichotomy EP (Review)

"The Dichotomy" is the first collaborative EP from Virginia producer The Savage and Buffalo, NY emcee Taariq Abdus Salaam. It is produced entirely by The Savage and has no guest appearances, but features verses from Taariq on every track. You can check out the full EP over on The Savage's Soundcloud page.

1) Sleep Paralysis - The first song on the EP has a nice instrumental with some wavy synths, light pianos and boom-bap drums. Taariq comes through and does his thing, rapping about how real hip-hop is under siege nowadays and how the shit they play on the radio is just watered down to get more sales. This is my first time hearing Taariq rap and he sounds pretty good. This song is dope, but not my favorite on here.

2) Flash Flood - This song has an upbeat instrumental with an strong Middle Eastern or Asian feel to it, very similar in tone to an older Wu-Tang instrumental. The beat is banging and Taariq is on point lyrically, spitting some boastful one-liners about how ill he is on the mic. This shit is fire and is one of my favorite tracks on the EP.

3) Rise of the Olympians - Taariq comes correct over a head-nodding instrumental with some menacing violins layered over boom-bap drums. Like all of the songs on the EP so far, the beat and lyrics have a 90's throwback feel to them and are a nice change from the usual "trap rap" of today. Dope shit. I'm impressed.

4) The Viking - This song has another string-heavy sample layered over head-nodding drums, but it has a slightly darker feel than any of the others tracks on the EP so far. Taariq matches the tone perfectly and spits some esoteric battle raps in his smooth flow. About halfway through the beat changes up to include a chilling vocal sample that adds a ton of ambiance to the song. This is probably my favorite song on the EP.

5) The Garden - The final song on the EP has an epic instrumental that features some more string samples and what sounds like a harp over hard boom-bap drums. The beat is really good during the verses, but it soars to new heights during the chorus. Lyrically Taariq comes through and rips it, as always, flowing effortlessly over the instrumental. Very dope way to close out the EP.

Overall "The Dichotomy" EP is really ill. This is my first time hearing any music from The Savage and Taariq and I must admit that I'm impressed. The instrumentals are beautiful and have a nice throwback feel to them, sounding like a more modernized take on that classic mid-90's hip-hop sound. Taariq comes correct lyrically on every track, spitting vivid and witty rhymes in a flow that compliments the instrumentals nicely. My only complaint about the EP is that some of the mastering seems a little off, with some of the vocals sounding a tad low in the mix. Still, it's a minor nitpick in the overall scope of the EP. With that being said, I'm definitely looking forward to hearing more from these two in the future.