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Black August

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Album Review

Though Killah Priest isn't one of the high-profile members of Wu-Tang, time and again one in their middle ranks will release an amazing record, oblivious of the charts (if not the production blueprint of a solo Wu-Tang record). So it's no surprise that Black August is a quality release as well, driven not by money producers but by Killah Priest's potent rapping skills and occasional flashes of poetic lyricism. The skills come across in spades on gritty, street-level tales of extra-legal activity like "Robbery" and "Do the Damn Thing" that, importantly, never fall prey to sensationalism. Like Ghostface Killah, Priest also has the ability to convey the power of hip-hop in a song, the same fleeting feelings evoked by all those dusty soul samples on Wu-Tang records. He lays it out on the chorus of "Black August (Daylight)," the opener — "It's so beautiful, unusual, and remember y'all/this is no rap, these are moments captured on a Kodak." Notorious B.I.G. it's not, but that's exactly what separates Killah Priest from the hundreds of East Coast rappers busy scrapping for nothing more than multi-platinum records.

Biography

Born: 16 August 1970 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Killah Priest made his first appearances on such Wu-Tang side and solo projects as Gravediggaz' 6 Feet Deep, Ol' Dirty Bastard's Return to the 36 Chambers, and Genius/GZA's seminal Liquid Swords. His contributions to those releases — especially Liquid Swords' "B.I.B.L.E. (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth)," essentially a Priest solo track — paved the way for the release of the MC's acclaimed debut album, 1998's Heavy Mental, and a lengthy and respected career in the hip-hop underground....
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Black August, Killah Priest
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