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Album Review

Scientific Universal Noncommercial (Santonio Hughbanks) has had a long time running in the hip-hop game. Perfecting his own blend of spirituality, truth, and metaphoric wordplay has proven to be no small feat, but School of Thought might have him doing exactly that. S.U.N.'s 2000 release is a manifesto of intelligent rhymeplay, laced over sci-fi beats, and some truly classic hip-hop vibes to boot. While S.U.N. served as the executive producer over the entire joint, Houseshoes, OPM, and Jeff Baraka all bring in solid beats and distinctive grooves. The truly remarkable trait this album offers is the diversity S.U.N. puts out in the tracks all the while maintaining lyrical consistency. "Deadly Toxins" comes through with a heavy drop-down beat, "Cosmic Consciousness" is right on the tail of it with a down-tempo groove, and synth-happy vocals on the hook. From one song to the next, the beats vary just enough to keep you interested, but without sacrificing the art, skill, or content S.U.N. provides as a MC. One of the unquestionable highpoints of this album is the collaboration between S.U.N. and the 16 other artists that feature on various tracks. Whether it's the laid-back Jeff Baraka beat of "Radiate" with the quick flowing verses traded between S.U.N., O Type Star, and Juice, or the classic hip-hop presented on "Writings" with OneManArmy, the feature spots are perfectly planned on the rest of the album. "Radiate" and "Writings" may leave you with some decidedly chill sensations running through you, but before you get to comfortable in that vibe, S.U.N. hits you with "Different Forces." Chemical, Nate the Great, Combat, Mr. Sinns, and Paradime join forces with the Scientific One for a true down and dirty Detroit vibe. All three tracks have one thing in common: not a rhyme out of place, not a beat wasted, and every track offers up its own sound. As for the MC himself, the rhymes are on point from start to finish. S.U.N.'s delivery can only be defined as masterful. His voice comes at you with a relaxed tone and down-tempo pace with raw intensity seething just under the surface. When S.U.N. drops his verses, the shining begins. This album is nothing more than an audio testament to that.

School Of Thought, S.U.N. (Scientific Universal Noncommercial)
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