Sean Price – Mic Tyson

Mic Tyson album cover

tell me that ain’t the most hardcore shit you’ve ever seen

In this interview, Sean explains that he took a while off from hip-hop to take care of his pregnant wife and then spend time with his growing family. I completely respect that and in fact applaud it. A lot of rappers that are on his fame-level or above seem to have no work-life balance, so it’s refreshing to see someone plainly show and openly talk about the fact that there are other priorities in life besides hip-hop. Unfortunately on Mic Tyson we don’t get a glimpse into any of those other interests that Sean has.

This album is Sean Price at his most basic, distilled level, minus most of the humor that balances his thuggery. Yup, it gets monotonous. In fact he sleepwalks through the first 6 songs with his flow and topic never changing and energy level never ramping up. He sounds bored, like he had an old rhyme book full of couplets and slapped them together and called the output verses. Like he called 6 producers and said “give me Sean Price beats, no experiments, nothing special, just plain old beats for Sean Price”. 6 songs into a Sean Price album and I haven’t been compelled to introduce 1000 random jaws to my fists? What gives?!

On the insult-plus-injury tip, on Price and Shining Armor, b-list Boot Camp Clikker Rustee Juxx manages to eclipse Ruck with vigor alone. He also claims to have ghostwritten this album, not something I’d be proud of.

Number 7, STFU Pt 2 starts the rise to goodness. The high point is a funny KRS-One clip where the Blastmaster says that violence should be stopped by beating violent people with baseball bats. Sean doesn’t bring anything much different than before, but bear with him, better is ahead

Two songs later is Solomon Grundy. Dope doesn’t begin to describe this song. The beat BANGS, has a dark, menacing piano loop and is actually a bit dynamic in its sequencing. Ike Eyes and Ill Bill are featured, all parties do good jobs but Ill Bill’s fire edged out the other verses.

Frankenberry is next and has Buckshot and another cool beat. Nothing to complain about here.

BBQ Sauce comes along and ruins the mood in maddening fashion. The beat is terrible so Sean falls back into lazy rhymes and Pharoah Monch, who could’ve maybe ripped it, is forced to be content with reciting a terrible chorus that was an ok rhyme on this song. Some will find the humor in the chorus but Sean Price has been much more clever than this before.

The last four songs are all pretty damn good. Standouts are By the Way ft Torae on the hook, and The Hardest Nigga Out. The beats on these clearly brought something special out of Sean. The Hardest… is a throwback to 2000s hip-hop with a warped vocal sample that plays throughout the beat and Heatmakerz-era Dipset drums.

Rating: 3/5. This album ended up being very back-loaded. But even the best songs don’t have Sean at his best. I’ve heard much better verses from him on Heltah Skeltah’s D.I.R.T. album and on his last two mixtapes. On top of that, his topic literally never changes, every song is street braggadocio. Maybe he rushed after spending so much time off or maybe his focus was elsewhere. He can definitely do better, but even without trying real hard he ended up making a pretty good album.

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