Ed Rowe and Klim Beats - Exercise inTuition (Review)

Ed Rowe - Exercise InTuition

"Exercise InTuition" is the latest project from Atlanta emcee Ed Rowe and Ukraine producer Klim Beats. The album features no guest appearances and is fully produced by Klim Beats himself. It was released on December 7, 2013 via Ed Rowe's Bandcamp page.

1) ReOrientation - The album begins with a quick intro sampled from a Ray Lewis speech before the first instrumental kicks in. The beat is dope, with a nice string sample layered over boom-bap drums, and Ed Rowe wastes no time ripping into it, spitting some rhymes about bettering and becoming re-acclimated with himself. The song has a real positive vibe to it that I'm really diggin'. Very dope.

2) Simulated Combat - The beat on this song almost has a celebratory feel to it, with a soaring string sample, air horns and a chopped up vocal loop over somewhat mellow drums. Ed Rowe comes through and flows nicely over it, spitting some bars packed full of witty punchlines and war/combat metaphors. This is ill. Too bad its so short because it left me wanting more.

3) E.L.I - Klim Beats delivers a laid-back instrumental with a soulful vocal loop and boom-bap drums for Ed Rowe to do his thing over. Lyrically Ed rips it, as should be expected, kicking some ill rhymes while using the extended metaphor of a woman's broken heart to describe radio/mainstream music. This is banging.

4) A Higher Calling - This song has another instrumental built around a chopped up vocal sample layered over head-nodding drums, but I'm feelin' this one just as much as the previous track. Ed Rowe's lyrics mesh nicely with the soulful feel of the instrumental as he spits some bars about being destined for a higher calling and about not letting anything hold him back. The beat is ill and I'm diggin' the positive message of the song. Very dope.

5) Buck Runs Dry - Klim Beats comes through with another soulful vocal loop instrumental, this time with some backing strings and somewhat minimal drums. Ed Rowe sounds pretty dope over the beat, kicking some rhymes about how money is fleeting and how some people spend their whole life in pursuit of it. The comedy sketch intro and outro are quite funny as well. Nice.

6) Shugahead (Interlude) - This interlude sounds like it features the same sample as 9th Prince's "Honeycomb" and Nas' "Remember the Times" and, like both of those songs, features some sex rhymes. It must be something about that sample. Anyways, I'm feelin the beat and humor on here, but I could do without Ed's singing.

7) Fondant Smile - This song has a beautiful instrumental full of mesmerizing strings and a soft vocal sample over dope ass drums. I've never heard any of Klim Beats' instrumentals before this album, but he is really impressing me with the production on here so far. Lyrically Ed Rowe also impresses, as usual, and spits some love raps using food, especially desserts, as a metaphor. Very dope.

8) Close But No Cigar - This was the first song from the album to receive a video and its quite dope. The beat is full of jazzy horns layered over boom-bap drums and has a nice "golden era" feel to it. Lyrically Ed Rowe comes correct and kicks some boastful rhymes about his mic skills and about how other emcees ain't seein' him. Dope shit.

9) What Ya Want - Klim Beats somehow makes a banger out of an AT&T commerical sample blended in with a breezy harp, airy horns and smooth drums. The beat has a real light feel to it and Ed Rowe rips it, rapping about people who can't get enough and end up spending all their money on material things. Once again, the beat is ill and I'm feelin' the message of the song. Nice.

10) Organic Composition - Ed Rowe spits some darts over another head-nodding instrumental with a chopped up vocal loop and head-nodding drums. The beat is banging and Ed sounds great over it. Klim Beats' instrumentals are seeming like the perfect backdrop for his thoughtful rhymes and entertaining punchlines. I'm really feelin' this song as well. Dope shit.

11) Throw The Book At Um - The beat on this song is somewhat different than the others, having a darker, distorted vocal sample, prominent bass and hard snares. The instrumental is pretty dope and Ed Rowe comes correct over it, addressing racism while switching up his voice to play different parts of a conversation in a courtroom. He also incorporates a bunch of "reading" and "book" references throughout his rhymes, which is a nice touch and goes along with the title of the song. While this is good, it's not a standout track for me.

12) Can't Thank YAH Enough (Interlude) - This is just a short interlude where Ed Rowe thanks God over a nice string-based instrumental.

13) Write & Exact - This track features another chopped up vocal loop and smooth backing sample over boom-bap drums that give it a strong "golden era" feel. Ed Rowe comes through and schools us on his abilities on the mic while littering his rhymes with various writing and poetry references. I'm really feelin' the beat and rhymes on this track. Dope shit.

14) High Speed Chase - Ed Rowe spits some raps filled with drug and car references to describe a "different kind of high" over a laid-back beat that should get your head nodding a bit. The beat is real smooth and the lyrics are vivid, which helps to paint a picture in your mind as you listen to the rhymes. Very nice.

15) Graduating Classic - Klim Beats delivers another beautiful instrumental full of triumphant strings and ill drums for Ed Rowe to body. Lyrically Ed is on point, rhyming about his rap skills and about how how he is staying true to the essence of hip-hop and dropping modern day classics. Another banger.

16) Heaven Above - Similar to a few other tracks on the album, this song has a dope instrumental full of heavenly vocal loops and boom-bap drums. Keeping with the angelic feel of the instrumental, Ed Rowe shows up and spits some uplifting rhymes about believing in "higher horizons." Another dope track.

17) E.L.I (Alternate version) - As you can tell by the title of this song, this track is an alternate version of track 3's "E.L.I." and features pretty much the same beat and subject matter as that track, just flipped a little differently. The lyrics are all new, but the topic is still the same. Regardless, this is just as dope as the original version.

18) Less Than A Minute To Go (Outro) - Short instrumental outro.

I'm going to rate the album

4 / 5

because its quite dope. Klim Beats really came through with the instrumentals on here, crafting beats full of that head-nodding "golden era" sound while still managing to make each song feel fresh. This is my first time hearing anything from him and I'll definitely have to check out more of his work in the future. On the lyrics side, Ed Rowe comes correct on pretty much every song as well, spitting rhymes full of intricate rhyme schemes and hidden meanings while utilizing a ton of witty metaphors and punchlines. While there are a few songs I'm not feelin' quite as much as the some of others, all of the tracks fit in nicely with the theme of the project and each has it's own unique identity within in the overall scope of the album. If you are a fan of dope beats and lyrics, make sure to check out the full album below.


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