Resolute - The Last Horizon (Review)

Resolute - The Last Horizon (Essence of Hip-Hop)

"The Last Horizon" is the debut album from Chicago hip-hop artist Resolute. The album features guest appearances from AZ and June Marx as well as production from BBZ Darney, Kyo Itachi, June Marx, Mr. Green, Memoriza and others. It was released on June 25, 2014 via Resolute's Bandcamp page.

1) Life Or Death - The first track on the album features a cinematic Memoriza instrumental built around a hypnotic sample and ill cuts by DJ Kwestion. I'm diggin' the sort of spacey feel of the beat and Resolute sounds pretty good over it, rapping about being an "innovative mastermind" in this hip-hop shit. His flow and rhymes on here are pretty good, but his voice took some getting used to. Still, dope track. - 3.5/5

2) Beyond The Twilight - The beat on this cut is real smooth, with some rolling pianos, backing guitars and a chopped up AZ sample during the chorus. BBZ Darney really hooked Hex One up with the beats on their "String Theory" album and he does the same here. Lyrically the song is on par with the first, with Resolute kicking some socially conscious and thought provoking rhymes while DJ Tha Boss holds it down with the cuts. - 4/5

3) Authentic - Crown Grimreaperz comes through with another head nodding instrumental, this time with some soaring strings and a splash of pianos over harder drums. As on the past few tracks, the beat is ill and Resolute comes correct over it while kicking some boastful rhymes and dropping a few gems here or there. Nice. - 3/5

4) Only Natural (featuring AZ) - Resolute links up with hip-hop legend AZ over an upbeat Mr. Green instrumental centered around a nice piano loop and lively drums. AZ especially sounds great over the beat and proves yet again that he doesn't really get the props he deserves. This ones a banger. - 4/5

5) Dark Knight - The Panik beat on this cut is a little darker than the others, with some sweeping violins and soft keys over head nodding drums, but it's just as dope. Lyrically the song pretty good as well, with Resolute just spitting more of the same and flowing nicely over the instrumental. - 3/5

6) The Last Of Us (featuring June Marx) - One of my favorite emcees/producers June Marx makes an appearance on this song, providing both a verse and an ill beat for him and Resolute to do their thing over. The instrumental is beautiful, with more soaring strings and other ambient noises over hard ass drums, and Marx rips it while Resolute just spits a few bars to close out the song. Too bad this one is so short though since it's real nice. - 4/5

7) The Plan - Memoriza returns to production duties on this track and delivers a dope instrumental with more strings and falling chimes over hard drums. The production on this project has been crazy so far and this song continues that trend while Resolute does the same with his rhymes and raps about being "a visualizer of sorts." Not bad. - 3/5

8) On Arrival - This song finds Resolute spitting some vivid rhymes about surviving and making the music he wants to make over another ill instrumental, this time by Symphonik Bang. The beat and rhymes are nice and the cuts by DJ Kwestion help to tie it all together. Nice. - 3/5

9) Ink Canvas - The beat on this song, courtesy of Vherbal, almost has a jazzy feel to it, with some bright horns and pianos over spirited drums. As on most of the other songs, the beat is blazing and the rhymes are on point, with Resolute slowing down his flow a bit and sounding more at home over this instrumental than on some of the others. - 3.5/5

10) Reflections - BBZ Darney comes through with his second contribution to the album and its just as dope as the first. The beat is beautiful, with what sounds like a swirling harp over poignant piano keys, and Resolute rips it while spitting some introspective rhymes. This is another one of the standout tracks to me. - 4.25/5

11) Never Over - The final song on the album is produced by French hip-hop producer Kyo Itachi and its definitely a banger. The beat is a bit calmer than the previous song, but it too is centered around a piano loop over boom-bap drums. Lyrically the song is nice as well and finds Resolute dropping a few gems while rapping about how he is "seasoned as a soldier" in this hip-hop shit. Nice. - 3.75/5

I'm going to rate the album

3.5 / 5

because there are some really great songs on here. The production on the project is almost flawless, with only an instrumental or two that didn't hit me quite as hard as the others. Lyrically the album is on point as well, with Resolute spitting some vivid rhymes that range from boastful battle raps to more reflective songs. The only real downside to the project is that Resolute's voice takes some getting used to and that you can tell he is still working on his mic presence and flow. Despite the lyrics being on point, his delivery can sometimes be a little too monotone (which made me pay more attention to the beat than the rhymes). With that nitpick aside, the project is really dope and is a great debut album. I'm definitely looking forward to hearing what else he will deliver in the future. Peep the full album below.


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