Since the conception of Hip-Hop music, The City of Brotherly Love has been known as one of the genre’s largest manufacturers of amazing DJs, producers and emcees. DJ Cash Money and DJ Jazzy Jeff forged the road for DJs aficionados, while Schooly D, M.C. Breeze, The Fresh Prince and the Hilltop Hustlers opened the floodgates for thoroughbred emcees Black Thought and Beanie Sigel to shine. Despite all of this talent, lately there has been a void in The Sound of Philadelphia that hasn’t been filled… until now. Equipped with beats, rhymes and life experiences, Philadelphia producer/emcee Kasar the Star embarks on his attempt to fill that void on his latest LP “Dope: In Tha Form of Music”.
Dope: In Tha Form of Music is fortified with a balance of slick production and sound lyrical skill as displayed on “Throw It Up! Get That Ka$h!” in which Kasar trades lines with fellow emcee G.T. Ka$H. Kasar clearly states his stance on giving away freebees as he spits “It makes me sick to my stomach/How niggaz say that they want it, but do nothing to get it/They come in the studio asking for free beats/You don’t go into Foot Locker asking for free sneaks/Don’t come here with that/ I don’t want to hear your raps/You’re out of line/And you’re wasting my time.” The drum kick hits harder than a Tyson uppercut as wailing guitar riffs and horns add immense character to the track.
Dope will continue to invade the eardrums on “I Grind, I Shine”, which features fellow artists Serce and Twizz. The trio brings loads of energy to the track however; neither emcee displays the lyrical prowess that the song’s instrumental arrangement commands. Despite the lack of lyrical agility, the hook is catchy and it is sure to capture and maintain the listener’s attention. The highlight of the track is its concrete production. The song is driven by a syncopated high hat which appropriately accommodates a mesmerizing string array, staccato sequenced drums and complimentary bass synths.
The album is filled with a variety of high points, but there are a few low points that detract value from its potential. The Serce assisted “Damn You Looking Good” fails to impress with its lackluster production, lyricism and excess use of its hook. “The Chizange, featuring Da Kid Nice and Serce is yet another cut in which the production fails to match the intensity of the rest of the collective. Even with the aforesaid inconsistencies, Dope comes back strong with production and lyrics in tow with heaters like “Go!”, “I Remember”, and the Isaac Hayes influenced “Never Say Never”.
Dope in the Form of Music is a collection of dope beats coupled with good lyricism a la Dr. Dre’s “The Chronic”. Kasar Tha Star’s debut effort is a solid piece which boasts a variety of club bangers and sub woofer treats for even the pickiest audiophile. Using a combination of samples and original instrumentation, Kasar proves that he is in fact a star behind the boards. Vocalists and Emcees alike should get at this rising star while they can.