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Prince Po - The Slickness

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Artist: Prince Po

Album: The Slickness

Label: Lex

Review date: Sep. 20, 2004

Organized Konfusion is one of the most important hip hop groups of all time, and most people don’t even know it. Their self-titled debut and Stress: The Extinction Agenda are among the fifty greatest hip hop albums ever, and their third, The Equinox, although not nearly as seminal, is still better than 95 percent of hip hop today. Pharoahe Monch has enjoyed some semi-commercial success with his solo debut on Rawkus (recent rumors have him dealing with Shady Records), but his overlooked partner, Prince Po, has yet to make a splash in this post-OK hip hop climate.

Seven years have passed since The Equinox, and Po has diligently traded in his bag of introspective street rhymes for abrasive battle raps and punch lines on The Slickness. While many will miss Po and Monch’s unique dynamism, this new stylemakes for a fairly enjoyable listen.

Danger Mouse supervised the production on The Slickness and interestingly, Anticon’s Jel gets red carpet honors on Po’s “Hello,” a reintroduction after seven long years. Po's real return to scene, however, doesn't come until the next track, “Too Much” - Po’s bitch slap to the world. Utilizing a rapid fire delivery, a far cry from the harmonized flows of Organized Konfusion, Po defends his hold on the rap game and the proliferation of wack emcees: “This is for my beer drinkers, fuck chrys,” he exclaims. The Slickness is filled with similar jabs and roundabout rhymes that seem to be placed more for impression than substance, and clearly show the direction of his development since Organized Konfusion.

In that sense, there’s a lot to be desired for those hoping for a more profound Po, but the album is still not void of the inklings that made Organized Konfusion so great. “Social Distortion” has Po pinpointing various injustices of society with MF Doom appearing for one of his always stellar performances. Other notables include “Be Easy” or the self-titled track, both which feature strong production and lyrics addressing the highs and lows of life.

Danger Mouse does a good job of overseeing The Slickness, bringing on various producers and guest emcees that give the album variety, but a head bob here or a nasty punch line there just doesn’t cut it by Prince Po's standards. He still belongs on the mic, but any seven-year itches will have to be satiated with an Organized Konfusion album.

By Brian Ho

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