While The Brown Tape isn’t a wholly original composition (it’s a re-imagining of 2013’s 12 Reasons to Die) or even new (it was briefly offered online after the original’s debut), it is an intriguing project that is worth be talked about at the least since it’s being reissued. 12 Reasons to Die was a highly anticipated conceptual album between Ghostface Killah and Adrian Younge that never quite delivered on it’s potential. There wasn’t a strong synergy between Ghost and Younge – Ghost was delivering one thing while the production seemed to be delivering another. In comes Apollo Brown and his dark, gritty beats gave the project a whole new life. Things just seem to gel better with Brown’s more traditional boom-bap and sample heavy sounds as Ghost’s sinister lyrics glide more effortlessly than before. These still aren’t Ghostface’s best efforts by any stretch of the imagination but the dark tales have decidedly more pop. The end result may be less ambitious than Younge’s previous effort but it is a better match and a smoother listen.
Lyricism and his respect for the culture and tradition of hip-hop is still front and center but with a modern NY sound and feel that doesn't feel too contrived like it did at times on Paranoia. This is the Dave East I've been waiting for - full of lyrical venom, vivid storytelling, and street wise gravitas, yet still in touch with the times.
Artists are continuing to line up to work with Apollo Brown and for good reason. His sampling is on another level and his lush, soulful production is exceptional as always. Anchovies isn't my favorite project of his but I'll take as much Apollo Brown production as I can get.
Blue Chips 7000 will represent a return to form for many of Bronson's fan. It's chock full of phenomenal cinematic production, vivid imagery rich lyricism, and quotables for days. It plays things fast and loose and Action Bronson is absolutely razor sharp throughout.
“Medusa stare, my guns bust in silence I’m a black vigilante killer, pro violence It’s the rebirth, born again, rise through the vinyl spin They took out Starks but the light shines within It’s the almighty rise of the murderous Ghostface”
Have you heard The Brown Tape? What’d you think about it? How do you think it compares to the original 12 Reasons to Die project? Do you like what Apollo Brown brings to the table? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to leave your own ratings and reactions to the album.
The Brown Tape Reaction
Things just seem to gel better with Brown's more traditional boom-bap and sample heavy sounds as Ghostface Killah's sinister lyrics glide more effortlessly than before and the dark tales have decidedly more pop. The end result may be less ambitious than Younge's previous effort but it is a better match and a smoother listen.