5 out of 5
Produced by: Blueprint
Dat Blueprint, my god. Only ‘print could wrangle a crew of tuff rhyme slingers to drop roundhouse verses that amount to a PSA on eating right (Health Is Wealth) and make it sound so goddamned vicious. Only ‘print has the gusto to kick his album off with atonal chords and a screechy epithet on rappin’ with reason and then be able to seamlessly segue into one of the most head-bobbing, soulful boast tracks of his damned career. Two-headed monster – beats and words – indeed.
Blueprint’s last few albums, while excellent in their own rights, admittedly had limitations. Whether it was an odd tendency to cut things off a bit too abruptly or to allow the spotlight to shine maybe too frequently on guest stars, stepping back over these releases we find a ton of classic material, but always a hitch that prevented perfection. THM isn’t a giant course correct by any means – Blueprint has pretty much been on point since he started – but everything aligns. It’s a mix of deep cuts and toe-tapping stuff – the serious and the fun – and, most importantly, every rap / thought feels carried through to a conclusion. Though we’ve heard these narratives about growing up and learning the biz from ‘print before, he sounds reinvigorated here; not the disgruntled m.c. who’s waving off the credit due, but the seasoned pro who just knows he’s got it. And that confidence makes the album absolutely flow, and it’s a marvel to hear, end to end, with Blueprint’s killer, layered productions and endless lines of smart, slick rhymes.