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Aceyalone – Lightning Strikes

Okay, so Aceyalone might not be the most dynamic cat to watch on stage. Don’t get it wrong, he’s repp’d the set since Freestyle Fellowship, and continues to bare the torch through his involvement with Project Blowed. But, for real, he’s not a headliner.

However, when it comes to records, his energy and creativity are rarely matched. This is once again the case with his latest concept album Lightning Strkes, which has the veteran MC teaming with producer Bionik to explore a more roots sound, via dancehall, reggae and dub inspired tracks.


The record gets started with the title track, a bouncy number replete with female vocals and an interpolation of Dana Dane’s seminal hit “Nightmares.” Continuing the dancehall vibe, which Acey seems well suited to, are the island blends “Suicide” and “Sound Gun.”

For the more pleasurable “Easy,” Aceyalone is joined by Jurassic 5’s Chali 2Na, who infuses the ditty with his consistent skills and baritone delivery. Although this album is not going to take the place of Sly & Robbie, or even give dance hall darling Sean Paul cause for pause, songs like “To The Top” are still a knee slapping good time. And, as witnessed on the more traditional “Pick A Part” and Rasta vibes of “When I Woke,” Aceyalone does justice to the genre, covering social ills and hot girlies with equal aplomb.

For the pure at heart, this exploration of the reggae vibe might not be to your liking, and Aceyalone fans might long for the straight up hip hop of past recordings that they’ve come to expect from one of the West Coasts most prolific rappers. However, if you have an open mind and a willing ear, this “distinctly offbeat blend of hip-hop and dancehall” just might be the cure to your summertime blues.


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