Ransom and Statik Selektah - The Proposal (Review)

Ransom and Statik Selektah - The Proposal

"The Proposal" is a collaborative album between New Jersey emcee Ransom and hip-hop producer Statik Selektah. The album features guest appearances from Styles P and Ea$y Money and is fully produced by Statik Selektah himself. It was released on September 30, 2013.

1) I Do - The first song on the album features a head nodding Statik Selektah instrumental with a chopped up guitar sample, pianos, synths and organs over boom-bap drums. Lyrically Ransom comes correct and professes his love for hip-hop by using the extended metaphor of "marrying the game" throughout the entire song. The beat is ill and the concept is executed nicely. Dope way to start off the album.

2) Unexplainable - This song starts off with some nice scratching by Statik Selektah before Ransom comes through and rips the beat, rapping about his hunger for success and boasting about his mic skills in an aggressive flow. The beat has a stadium feel to it, with another synth organ sample over hard drums and fan cheering in the background. Dope shit.

3) Outcast (featuring Ea$y Money) - Statik Selektah keeps with the sonic theme of the album so far and blesses Ransom with another head-nodding organ and piano instrumental with some chopped up vocals on the hook. The beat is dope and Ransom kills it, kicking some more braggadocios raps about his skills on the mic while Ea$y Money adds some extra vocals to the chorus. This shit is fire.

4) Life of Sin - Ransom spits some bleak street rhymes over a somber piano instrumental with some haunting Biggie, 2Pac and Nas samples scratched up during the chorus. The beat is beautiful and Ransom's lyrics are earnest as he paints a vivid picture of the troubles of his past as well as the negative aspects of life in the streets. Very ill.

5) How It Feels - In a sharp change from the depressing feel of the previous song, the instrumental on this track has a celebratory feel to it and Ransom rolls with it, rapping about returning to the rap game and about giving the East Coast "its balls back." The beat is nice and Ransom sounds great over it. Dope shit.

6) Jade - Statik Selektah comes through with another banger, this time with a soft piano and sped up vocal loop that is very familiar to me but I just can't place it for some reason. That's really going to annoy me. Anyways, the beat is real smooth and Ransom rips it, kicking some dirty sex rhymes in a slightly less aggressive flow. Very nice.

7) 1996 - Now this is dope. The beat on this song is very mellow, with some breezy strings and soulful backing vocals and Ransom bodies it, rapping about sitting back and reminiscing about the glory days of hip-hop. Too bad this is so short because its fire.

8) It's Ransom (featuring Styles P) - Statik Selektah is really killin' it with the beats on this album and this track is no exception. The instrumental is absolute fire, with energetic strings over hard-hitting drums and Ransom's aggressive flow and subject matter meshes very nicely with it. Too bad Styles P is just on hook because I'm sure he could have ripped the beat. Dope shit.

9) Reservoir Scars - Ransom spits an ill story from the perspective of three robbers after a successful heist, changing up his voice as he jumps between each of the characters. The concept works pretty well and sounds even better over the head-nodding horn instrumental provided by Statik Selektah. Nice.

10) Start To Finish - The final song on the album features what is probably the darkest instrumental on here, with an ominous backing sample layered over boom-bap drums. Ransom comes through and touches on a variety of topics, from his feud with Nicki Minaj to being the rapper that up-and-coming artists want to work with. Dope way to end the album.

I'm going to rate the album

4 / 5

because its quite ill. Statik Selektah really shows that he is a beast on the boards on this album, with pretty much every beat being incredibly dope. All of the songs have a mid-90's boom-bap feel to them, but updated for modern times and without coming across as simply trying to recreate that "Golden Era" sound. Lyrically Ransom is on point for pretty much every song as well, rapping about a broad range of topics from street stories to straight braggadocios tracks. He sounds really hungry on here and it's great to finally hear him over some great production.


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