"Back To The Essence" is the followup to The Savage and J-Heat's "The Essence" EP that dropped back in 2013. The album features some additional vocals from Wicked Chimpanzee and is fully produced by The Savage himself (with a few co-production credits from J-Heat). It was released on December 25, 2014 over on the duo's Bandcamp page.
1) Back To The Essence - The album begins with about a minute long intro before the first song really kicks in and finds J-Heat spitting some braggadocios raps over a darker instrumental from The Savage (with co-production from J-Heat himself). The beat is kind of ominous, with pianos that sound like they came out of an old horror movie over stomping boom-bap drums, and J-Heat sounds good enough over it while rapping about trying to take hip-hop back to its roots. Dope way to start off the project. - 3/5
2) Ill Logic - The Savage (and J-Heat as a co-producer) comes through with another darker instrumental on this track, with some swirling pianos and strings over head nodding drums. As far as the rhymes go, J-Heat flows nicely over the production while kicking some more boastful rhymes about how his "mental is crazy". Dope track. - 3.25/5
3) So Strong - The beat on this song swaps out the pianos and strings from the previous songs for stuttering drums and resonant synths that give the song a unique feel on the project so far. The beat is pretty dope though and J-Heat's rhymes are as well as he raps about standing strong despite being overlooked in the rap game. - 3/5
4) Rhymes - This cut finds J-Heat rhyming about being able to rap about just about anything over what is easily my favorite beat on here so far, with a crazy chopped up piano sample over a hard cymbals and head nodding drums. I'm feelin' the boastful rhymes from J-Heat and that beat is a banger. - 4/5
5) Rip Raps - The Savage delivers a hard ass beat on this cut, with some militant horns over stomping boom-bap drums that definitely bring the energy. The beat is real nice and the rhymes are dope as well, with J-Heat coming through and kicking some more braggadocios bars about his mic skills and such. - 3.25/5
6) Cream Of The Crop - J-Heat raps about being the best of the best and about taking his team straight to the top over an instrumental centered around some beautiful soaring strings. This one is really nice and is another one of my favorite songs on here. - 4/5
7) Wicked Heat (featuring Wicked Chimpanzee) - This is the only song on the album that features a guest verse, with J-Heat linking up with Wicked Chimpanzee and both emcees kicking some battle raps over violin stabs and boom-bap drums. Some of the punchlines are quite humorous and the production is dope. - 3.25/5
8) Champion - The final song on the album finds J-Heat ripping an epic instrumental full of cinematic horns/strings and crazy scratching during the hook. The beat bangs, the rhymes are dope and the scratching makes the song that much better. - 4/5
I'm going to rate the album
3.5 / 5
because its quite good. Both the beats and rhymes on here definitely live up to the title of the album, with The Savage delivering boom-bap instrumentals that harken back to the golden era of hip-hop while J-Heat spits his mostly braggadocios rhymes with a passion. I'm really feelin' the overall vibe of the project and it's nice to see two artists staying true to themselves and not attempting to change up their sound for radio play. Peep the album below and then make sure to check out the duo's "The Essence" EP as well if you like what you hear.