The AbSoulJah - Dim The Light (Review)

The AbSoulJah - Dim The Light (Essence of Hip-Hop)

"Dim The Light" is the latest album from Queens, NY hip-hop artist The AbSoulJah. The album features guest appearances from Streets Good, HalfaBrick, Spicco and Angry Man as well as production from JFX Productions, Ugly Tony, Keko Beats, DJ Simsima and many others. It was released on January 8, 2014 via Team Thoro Music.

1) Fork In The Road - The first song on the album features a blazing JFX Productions instrumental with layers of acoustic guitars over stomping boom-bap drums. The beat is real ill and The AbSoulJah sounds great over it, kicking some vivid street rhymes and ripping his verses (especially that third verse). Very dope track. - 4/5

2) World Don't Love (featuring Streets Good and HalfaBrick) - Shaolin Beatmaker comes through and delivers a haunting piano and string instrumental for The AbSoulJah and guests Streets Good and HalfaBrick to rhyme over. The beat and subject matter are appropriately dark, with each emcee rapping about the violence and general bullshit so prevalent in the world today. Another dope track. - 4/5

3) In Motion - The AbSoulJah goes solo over a crazy DJ Simsima instrumental that sounds like night itself, with layers of chimes and resonant synths over sinister drums. As far as the rhymes go, AbSoulJah flows nicely over the instrumental and kicks some more of his usual graphic street rhymes. This one sounds like its straight out the 90's to me, which is a great thing. - 4.25/5

4) Lost In A Moment - The beat on this cut, courtesy of I.N.C.H., is also pretty dark, with some muted pianos and backing samples layered over more gritty boom-bap drums. Lyrically the song is just as nice as the beat, with The AbSoulJah rapping about the struggles and near hopelessness of life in the world today. Very nice. - 4/5

5) Nighttime Dwelling (featuring Spicco) - The AbSoulJah links up with Team Thoro member Spicco over another ominous instrumental, this time courtesy of DJ Low Cut. As on the past few tracks (and as alluded too via the songs title), the beat sounds like something you would bump while riding around at night and rhymes keep with that theme. Another very dope track. - 4/5

6) The Real Type - This beat on this track, courtesy of Soulslicers, features a chopped up string sample with the occasional vocal loop that comes in every now and then. As far as the lyrics go, The AbSoulJah comes through and spits about how real he is while flowing nicely over the instrumental. Dope. - 4/5

7) No Plans - NoyZ delivers an upbeat piano based instrumental over gritty, head nodding drums that up the energy level of the album a bit. The beat is banging and AbSoulJah rips it, reminiscing about coming up in the streets and about how he used to live in the moment since the future was never promised. Yet another very dope track. - 4.25/5

8) Stand Strong - The AbSoulJah spits fire over a crazy Machine Gun Funk instrumental featuring a beautiful string and guitar sample over the hardest drums yet. This shit is dark as hell and AbSoulJah just bodies it, rapping about standing strong and holding his own against all odds. This ones definitely a banger. - 4.5/5

9) Grand Goon - H.Lava comes through with yet another hard ass beat for AbSoulJah to get busy over, this time with a chopped up vocal sample and others layers of instruments comeing in. The beat has a sort of militant feel to it and AbSoulJah sounds great over it, kicking some more vivid street rhymes while incorporating some crazy imagery. I'm really lovin' the dark vibe of the beats and rhymes on here. Dope shit. - 4/5

10) The Marriage - Keko Beats delivers an instrumental that sounds kind of unique on the album, with a soft acoustic guitar over a hard snare and deep bass. The beat is a touch lighter than the others, but its far from cheerful. Lyrically The AbSoulJah rips it, kicking more conscious street rhymes full of religious imagery. Nice. - 4/5

11) In My Element - The beat on this joint samples Portishead's classic track "Undenied", which is a cut off of their second self-titled album. That song has always been dark as hell and it fits in beautifully with the sonic theme of this album so far. Lyrically the song is just as good, with AbSoulJah being in the zone and kicking more of that intellectual street shit that he is known for. - 4/5

12) Next Life - The beat on this track is also real dark, with ominous violins and sweeping strings over head nodding boom-bap drums, and The AbSoulJah follows suit lyrically, kicking some descriptive rhymes about how he will introduce his enemies to the next life. The beat has a real foreboding feel to it and AbSoulJahs threatening rhymes are real dope. - 4/5

13) No Serenity - Keko Beats returns to production duties on this track, coming with an instrumental that is full of layers of frantic pianos and piercing strings. The beat is real nice and The AbSoulJah sounds great over it, spitting some more of his usual thought provoking street rhymes. I'm lovin' this album so far. - 4/5

14) How It Is (featuring Angry Man) - The AbSoulJah teams up with Angry Man over a mournful Manu Beats produced instrumental full of depressing violins and strings over boom-bap drums. As on most of the album, the beat is real dope and both emcees rip it. - 4/5

15) Get Well Soon - The final song on the album features an incredibly dope instrumental by Ugly Tony that is mainly centered around a somber vocal loop. The track is dedicated to the health of Ugly Tony himself and AbSoulJah just bodies the instrumental. This shit is absolute fire and is a great way to close out the album. - 5/5

I'm going to rate the album

4 / 5

because there are a ton of really good tracks on here. The beats on the project all have a real dark vibe to them, with almost depressing samples layered over head nodding boom-bap drums. I'm loving the vibe of the instrumentals on the album and The AbSoulJah's lyrics are just as strong, with the Queens based hip-hop artist kicking vivid rhymes full of street knowledge on pretty much every track. His lyrics are very descriptive and the imagery he uses in every verse helps to paint a dark picture of the struggles and oppression he has had to face in his lifetime. The album has a real nice 'golden era' feel to it, harking back to a time when everyone was dropping album after album of that gritty street shit. Don't sleep. This one's a banger.


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