Slaine – The Boston Project album review

“When (Edo G) put me on like that that was dope, and I always look at Edo’s example as how I wanted to be, giving back to my city…”

And with that, Boston’s underground mainstay Slaine offers The Boston Project, an LP that’s primarily a vehicle for promoting up and coming artists in Beantown. After experiencing disenchantment with the music industry and contemplating retirement in recent times, Slaine has seemingly turned an eye to the future, leaving an imprint by offering an opportunity for young spitters in this unheralded city a chance.

It’s a noble idea, but the fact of the matter is this might not go as planned. Slaine can put people on, but they have to keep themselves “on”, and the majority of upstarts on here do little to differentiate themselves.

The project has elements of a compilation, but Slaine’s presence on each track is the bond that, makes it a somewhat cohesive work, and honestly saves it. If it wasn’t for Slaine this would be a hard album to listen to . The Boston Project is mostly a lyricist’s lounge effort, where MCs pass the mic and attempt to one-up the last wordsmith, but the few tracks that have substance are anchored by his presence.

He anchors a couple tracks, he sets the tone, and his voice, an odd amalgamation of Jadakiss’ rasp and Eminem’s nasally is the only one that lasts

As far as production the project is solid if not a little monotonous, but given the nature of the project that can be forgiven. The canvas is notably low on samples. Darker, resonant synths and deliberate (if redundant) drums are the trademark here. Highlights include the whirling keys on “Rats Maze” and the headnod inducing wails on “Cocaine and Whiskey”.

The sinister track “Bloodthirsty” is indicative of the overall sonic elements as well as the lack of balance that weighs this project down. Slaine opens on the track, earnestly mentioning the time when he “was drug addicted, I was stuck up in the bench with kids, I just went around the whole earth spitting sentences”. Boston upstart Phinelia and 357 take the reins next and flutter with hollow braggadocios lines and ruin a golden moment.

It’s not only that the features on this album stray from any type of focus with their writing, it’s the way they do it. Slaine is apparently trying to showcase who Boston is, but these artists all sound like they’re doing a mid 90s new york impression. No one steps up and steals the spotlight or makes themselves seem worthy of a second listen.

With painfully worn out wordplay and mindless multi’s rife through the 17 tracks, the 20 odd guests in here might want to kiss the ground Slaine walks on, because this could be the closest they ever get to another retail album.

By Andre G

I'm a 24 year old starving poet/beatmaker/something or other in New York City.

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