Sean Price – Jesus Price Supastar review by Todd E. Jones
Sean Price is one of the myriad of reasons why this journalist loves hip-hop. As an emcee, he gained mass exposure with the Heltah Skeltah and O.G.C. collaboration, “Lafleaur Laflah Eshkoshka”. Originally known as Ruck of Heltah Skeltah, Sean Price has always been a brick in the foundation of The Boot Camp Clik (B.C.C.). This gargantuan crew helped lay the bricks in the foundation of independent hip-hop. B.C.C. consists of Black Moon (Buckshot & 5 FT), Da Beatminerz, O.G.C. (Starang Wondah, Top Dog, & Louieville), and many others. While some dismissed the Clik as artists who were stuck in the early 90’s era of hip-hop, Duckdown Records continued to evolve through persistence. Throughout all of these years, they have remained true to their hearts. Like Sticky Fingaz in Onyx, Sean Price had a habit for providing the most memorable performance on most of his collaborations. Price endured years of personal and professional struggle before he released his classic debut album, “Monkey Bars”. Excellent from start to finish, “Monkey Bars” featured the unforgettable tracks “Boom Bye Yeah”, “Onion Head”, “Slap Boxing”, “Brokest Rapper You Know”, and “Heartburn”. The LP featured a myriad of producers from 9th Wonder and Khrysis to Ayatollah and P.F. Cuttin. His debut album proved to the hip-hop nation that he could not only accomplish his goals by overcoming massive obstacles, but reach his fan’s expectations.
In early 2007, Sean Price released “Jesus Price Supastar“, and proved that hip-hop emcees can create a brilliant sophomore album. Every performance by Price includes his sharp wit, signature flow, hardcore expression, and brutal honesty. In addition, the LP does not include a single weak beat. The top-notch production is handled by 9th Wonder, P.F. Cuttin, 10 for the Triad, Illmind, Khrysis, Moss, Tommy Tee, and Masse. The album also includes guest performances by Sadat X, Buckshot, Rock (of Heltah Skeltah), Steele (of Smiff N Wessun), Skyzoo, Phonte (of Little Brother), Chaundon, and Block McCloud. On his previous album, “Monkey Bars”, Price displayed a struggle to complete and release his album. On “Jesus Price Supastar“, Sean Price stands as a prolific emcee in a maelstrom of creativity. He finally has the support and resources to let his creativity shoot out his mental shotgun. This extremely tight album will remain in CD players for repeated listens. Hip-hop albums haven’t been this classic for a long time. “Jesus Price Supastar” by Sean Price is helping to save hip-hop and renewing faith to the faithless.
“This is my album!”, Sean Price exclaims as soon as the LP begins. Although the statement is simply obvious, the passionate delivery sums up the album’s energy. All 16 tracks are potently effective. The 9th Wonder produced song, “Violent” is an exceptional display of Price’s style, flow, and charisma. In contrast to the song’s title, 9th Wonder’s beat is ethereally angelic. The music captures the romance of violence. Musically, the production is equivalent to a slowed-down violent action montage in a movie where brutal acts occur over a peaceful melodic background. Sean Price’s appreciation for the beat’s quality is evident in his ad-libs. Price truly stakes his claim on the track and exceeds the extremely high expectations listeners may have on an emcee over a 9th Wonder beat. With a bittersweet humor, Price claims, “I’m such a failure”. In the first verse alone, Price gives us a classic performance, “…Supersonic chronic got my mind ease / But, never think that the God won’t squeeze / Sean is the man, and I’m doing all that I can / When I rhyme, feel like the world’s in the palm of my hand / All I is – is all I am / And, all you is, who gives a damn? / It’s like, wop-babalu-bop-doo-wop-bam-boom / The glock, got a few shots, you popped, drop – oooh / I’m buck with the words, I went to school / When I pop you with the tool, catch a slug from a nerd / That’s my word to my mother / You act stupid duke I’m hurting your mother like ‘What b*tch?’ / Commence to smacking her face like a pimp / Then put the old bitch back in her place / The beat is smooth, the rap is hard / Just the way I like it bless the mic of the God / It’s violent… ” No other emcee could rock the track with such an unforgettable force. Another classic performance is captured on the song “One” (produced by Khrysis). Price makes the overused style of using the vocal sample sound fresh. “… One gun, one clip, one shot, one slug / All it takes for this n*gga to disfigure your mug / Not five, not four, not three, not two / Just ‘One’… ” Always humorously self-deprecating, Sean Price ends the album with more of his bittersweet humor on the track, “Mess You Made”. Produced by Masse and featuring Block McCloud, “Mess You Made” has Price confessing and confronting his self-induced problems. These issues range from lack of money, struggling in the music industry, criminal charges, family dilemmas, and reputation. As humorous as he delivers the content, listeners can all relate to his pain. On a much more uplifting track, “Hearing Aid” (produced by 9th Wonder) possesses a gospel church vibe. This is accentuated by the thick handclap rhythms and memorable chanted chorus. Although Chaundon is outshined by Price as an emcee, the track is extremely memorable. Another excellent track, “Let It Be Known” features Phonte (of Little Brother) and production by 9th Wonder. Skyzoo makes an appearance on the 9th Wonder produced, “You Already Know”. Another standout song, “Da God” captures a collaboration which should have occurred years ago. Produced by 10 for the Triad, “Da God” features Sadat X and Buckshot. While Buckshot handles the hook, Price and Sadat deliver their honest verses with a heavenly strength. The instantly appealing, “Stop” (produced by Khrysis) is a refreshingly hard-hitting song which brings the listener to reality. The hook’s vocal sample is a perfect example of how hip-hop can inspire introspection from the listener. (“Stop! Think about what you’re doing…”) On “Stop”, Sean Price displays how he has matured as an artist without losing credibility. Other enjoyable tracks include “Cardiac” (produced by Illmind), “P-Body” (featuring Rock), and “Like You”.
The weaker tracks on “Jesus Price Supastar” are stronger than the best tracks on most of today’s hip-hop albums. “King Kong” and “Director’s Cut” are strong tracks, but they do not possess that instant appeal that shine on the album’s magnificent moments. Some listeners may think that “Church” (featuring Rock and The Loudmouf Choir) may have given the incorrect title. Produced by Europe’s Tommy Tee, the thick electro-funk beat glides along as the artists use an interpolation of The Gap Band’s “Oops Upside Your Head” for the hook. For an album comprised of an abundant amount of originality, the hook for “Church” sounds like a blatant filler track.
Sean Price must be recognized as one of the saviors of true hardcore independent hip-hop. Sean Price is not pretending to be a specific type of character to sell records. He is not attempting to convince the audience that he is an infallible man. Honesty is one of Sean Price’s most effective attributes. In his music, he humorously tells listeners how he has caused many of his own problems. His insecurities and honest introspective nature are part of the essence to hardcore expression. These attributes must never be taken for weakness. In contrast, only a real man can admit his mistakes and express his pain. By using humor and a remarkable flow, Price makes his emotional music relevant and relatable to every kind of listener.
“Jesus Price Supastar” by Sean Price is another superb album from Boot Camp Clik’s legendary emcee. Compared to “Monkey Bars”, “Jesus Price Supastar” is slightly more cohesive and focused. Both albums are excellent in their own ways and possess an equal quality. “Jesus Price Supastar” proves to the hip-hop nation that Sean Price and the rest of The Boot Camp Clik are still capable of making brilliant music. The astute choices made for the LP’s production give the album a contemporary sound. His wise choice to utilize a handful of different producers accentuates the album’s graceful flow. Each chosen producer contributes several tracks to the album, giving the album a balanced feel. Instead of 9th Wonder outshining all of the other producers on the album, every producer contributes a beat worthy for Price to rhyme on. As an emcee, Sean Price exceeds expectations and reaches his potential. Since every single performance by Price is electrifying, Price now personifies the true emcee. The album is inspiration for hip-hop fans who are in dire need of a hip-hop savoir. “Jesus Price Supastar” by Sean Price has the power to revitalize your faith in hip-hop.