From the street sounds of The Alchemist to the always booming sounds of his Soul Assassins mentor, DJ Muggs. Being the man behind much of the Cypress Hill sound on top of creating his own lane of West Coast destruction with beats Muggs is legendary for any number of accolades, but over the last few years he has been keeping his name in the spotlight collaborating with emcee’s for full length projects.
After seeing him and GZA pull it off a couple years ago and then Sick Jacken getting the treatment last year, Planet Asia is the next up to be blessed with that SA sound – and he might be the best companion yet over a Muggs beat.
DJ Muggs & Planet Asia ft. GZA & Chace Infinite “Triple Threat”
Asia has long been on his grind in the west coast underground dropping solo’s and group projects over a decade ago, but while his witty and dense verbiage has kept his rep large with the true school heads he knows his position and plays it well.
While Muggs Queens heritage probably plays into his ability to lay down some of the greatest boom bap joints of the year - and of the last several – Pain Language is filled with those classic haunting and dark sounds the Soul Assassins leader has long utilized but coupled with great drums and moments of rest that provide a sense of calm prior to the explosion of raw Hip Hop energy they deliver throughout the record.
Asia is in top form here, and while I can’t say I’ve heard a solo joint from the man in its entirety, we find him on “All Hail the King” explaining to us why he is the greatest, peep the visuals he provides with this verse:
Valedictorian my story is hand writ
You could see my transcript was written in Sanskrit
Purple meditation makes me move the quill
Cause the dude is ill
And his jewels is real
Practice makes perfect
So I chose to build
Cause if I chose to chill
Then I could lose the skill
And if I listen to the radio
I’ll lose the thrill
So I make music that I’ll likely chose to hear
So to know what I’m about you gotta use your ears
I’ll give props to any emcee who makes the music he wants to hear, as simple a concept as it maybe I doubt too many artists feel that free upon entering the lab.
DJ Muggs & Planet Asia “All Hail The King”
Looking at many different emcee’s and music in general I never quite can pinpoint what it is I look for most in a great verse, but between his flow and the picture he paints this is as good a display of what a dope verse should be as I could ever come up with. Asia is an exceptional emcee with great breath control and a mind that exists on a different plane – “All Hail the King.”
But witty punch lines do not make for a well rounded album, and in true Muggs fashion he pulls out some heavy vocal interludes to discuss politics, religion and languages found around the world. These interludes are always laced with a floating looping, providing an overall cohesion between all the tracks.
Asia has no problem speaking over any number of Muggs crack, from the opening announcement of horns over a slow drum track on “Sleeper Cell” where he addresses terrorist tactics and why they are the chosen method to instill fear today. The drums here will get you prepared for what to expect as they are gritty and dusty, indicative of what Muggs chops up in his MPC.
But you can’t give bangers away and this team knows how to keep you wanting more. Laying down a quick loop on “Black Mask Men” of a sound I can’t even identify, it’s a hypnotic jam and upon hearing Planet on the hook state “roll up a wood and let a nigga smoke” you won’t have any choice but to take him up on his offer. Muggs rolled with Cypress for a reason.
DJ Muggs & Planet Asia ft. Sick Jacken “Death Frees Every Soul”
If Muggs hasn’t gotten your attention clean out your ears! And if Asia hasn’t I can’t blame you, but this record should serve as notice he is one to pay attention to. Together they have created Hip Hop any fan will enjoy and should, so take dude’s advice twist something up and turn this disc on.