January 29, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 36°F


Rapper’s use of sampling gives CD lyrical swagger

El Da Sensei elected not to break from the styles of his earlier work with his bold new album, “GT2: Nu World.” The notable New Jersey rapper’s talent reminds listeners of the witty rap battle style of CunninLynguists as well as the aggressive delivery of Jedi Mind Tricks. The gifted emcee delivers his lyrics at an almost unparalleled pace and uses literary devices that carry a commanding presence.

The CD, which is built heavily off of collaboration, includes guest performances from Treach Tiye Phoenix, Rakaa and Akrobatik. “Everyday in The Street,” features impressive guest appearances by underground hip-hop veterans Sean Price and Bekay. It exemplifies a threatening and jeering edge as well as a new-found swagger possessed by dominant and independent hip-hop artists.

Sensei worked with Polih production team The Returners for the second time to create this album. The repetitive samples from such artists as Mobb Deep throughout entire tracks. Fortunately, such a technique does not detract from the overall quality of the record — similar samplings only make the vocal performances more impressive.

One notable flaw is the heavy use of record scratching. While reminiscent of late ’90s hip-hop, it sometimes threatens to overwhelm the record.  Because of the complex lyrical material and gritty, bare-bones production, fans of hard-core underground hip-hop and rap are likely to appreciate the album, and it may not appeal to the wider hip-hop and rap community.

Like the first collaboration between El Da Sensei and The Returners, “GT2: Nu World” makes an impressive delivery.  Clearly this is a result of similar tastes and aspirations united for the production of quality hip-hop.