Slaine - World With No Skies 2.0 Review
Posted by Bill Wannop on 08.18.2011
Fresh off his role in The Town, Slaine has released his debut album, A World With No Skies 2.0. Would sample clearance issues and label delays hurt Slaine's buzz or is the sky the limit for his music career?
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Slaine is a rapper from Boston, who is mostly known musically as being part of the groups Special Teamz and La Coka Nostra. He has also gained notoriety for his acting career appearing in movies such as Gone Baby Bone as well as The Town. His solo debut album, A World With No Skies was originally supposed to be released last year, however due to difficulty with sample clearances on the album, as well as due to his increased notoriety from the Town, the record label decided to not release the album, until the sample issues could be cleared up. The album had already been pressed and sent to retailers, which caused it to leak. Due to the leaking of the album and inability to clear the samples, Slaine would go back to the drawing board, and record new tracks for the album. A World With No Dkies 2.0 is now being released which contains about 50% new tracks. Did the wait and delays see the sun set on Slaine’s buzz or is the sky the limit?
1. Black Horses
2. Voices of Apocalypse
3. When I Shoot You
4. 99 Bottles
5. Zombie ft. Son of Skam
6. Can’t Go Home
8. Jumpin’ Out The Window
9. Crazy ft. B Real and Jaysaun
10. I Ain’t Done
11. The Boulevard ft. Blacastan, Sean Price and Ill Bill
12. Broken ft. Cyrus Deshield and V Knuckles
14. Where My Heart Is ft. Cyrus Deshield
15. Borrowed Time ft. Checkmark and Lu Balz
16. The Last Song ft. Everlast
The album starts with the dark and slow “Black Horses”, which is a graphic, emotional song that takes you into the mind of Slaine. With all the dealys that the album has gone through, it is no wonder that Slaine selected this song to beginning version 2.0 of his album, which has Slaine basically looking back on himself in gruesome details. Slaine raps ‘That’s empty but I keep looking at it every time I’m passing it/What the f**k you laughing at?/Have a little sympathy/Some empathy, you bastards always acting uncompassionate/I’m basking in my past, it’s an assassin /This assassin got my future by the throat with the butcher knife and slashing it/Raw from my emotions now they’re back to take the last of it/My childhood was stolen from me, f**k it now I’m trapped in it’
Slaine moves the album along with “Voices of Apocalypse” followed by “99 Bottles” which are much more light hearted (as light hearted as Slaine can be), the latter being the first single from the album, which is more of a catchy track that will get the heads nodding. While Slaine is able to make fun tracks he really shines when he has something on his mind or when he wants to tell a story with his rhymes. Tracks such as “When I Shoot You” has Slaine telling a story of sex, drugs and violence ‘That’s when the side of my head felt the smash of the glass\f**k I ducked down, threw her like a ragdoll\Popped my clutch into reverse and smashed a black Dodge and backed off/Popped it in drive, gunned it and crashed more/I started speeding off, saw the rock on my dash, my head is bleeding dog/I got a couple blocks, started getting sick and my nerves/Hit the brakes and kicked the bitch to the curb
99 Bottles is a more laid back party type track, which will get you jumping.’
The first 4 songs were all on the original version, but in the middle of the album gives you the first taste of his new material with “Zombie”. The track is a hard hitting rock track, which unfortunately does not fit the album at all. Other additions to the album feature “Can’t Go Home”, “You”, Jumpin Out a Window” and “The Boulevard”. While all tracks are welcome additions to the album (especially The Boulevard which features Blacastan, Sean Price and Ill Bill over a beat that rocks hard), they unfortunately cannot replace some of the great tracks on the original version. . Tracks like “Night After Night”, “The American Way”, “Mistaken Identify”, “Landscapes” and even the title track “A World With No Skies” were much better than most of the songs that have replaced them. These tracks were taken off mainly for sample clearance issues or for various other issues, but they are sorely missed on this edition. While it is somewhat unfair to rate the album against the original version, which was shelved under no fault of Slaine, you still cannot help but feel the overall tone and emotion that was in the original.
The album is good basically front to back (with the exception of “Zombie”) and hip hop fans who are unfamiliar to Slaine will undoubtedly become fans with after listening to tracks like “Crazy ft. B-Real and Jaysaun”, while tracks like “Borrowed Time” and “Broken” could both get some radio play, as Slaine hands of the chorus work to other artists. However there the long delay coupled with the better quality of the original version will always haunt this release. Looking back at my review of the original (looking back at my review of the original, which was written but not posted, I gave the album a 9/10).
It has been a long road for Slaine, and with his debut solo album finally seeing the light of day. He has managed to put out a good solo effort, which unfortunately may have been great if he were able to use some of the scrapped songs from the original version on version 2.0. At the end of the day Slaine has nothing to be ashamed about, he can take this as a learning experience and hopefully move forward looking towards his follow-up album.
The 411: Slaine is able to tell great stories in his rhymes filled with violence, darkness and gruesome detail. He makes tracks filled with emotion, which really plays well on his album. However there the long delay coupled with the better quality of the original version will always haunt this release.