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The Lost Freestyle Files

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Album Review

The rapper's best moments are well documented on this lengthy single-disc compilation. Even more amazing is that despite being in rap's upper echelon for two decades, this is Supernatural's debut album. As "Internationally Known" suggests, Supernatural is "the star of the show" here. The opening track also has a definite feel along the lines of 2Pac and B.I.G. as he recounts his global travels. "Work It Out," which features members of Jurassic 5 and Iriscience from Dilated Peoples, has a good groove to it as soulful Motown female harmonies are heard in the loop. The sound quality on "Victory" is rather low, but showcases how impromptu and creative the artist was in "freestyle battles." His first appearance on the radio program Bobbito & Stretch demonstrates the passion Supernatural brought to every track, especially on "A Piece of Hip Hop History, Pt. 1." Here a horn section is added before the rhyme moves into a funky backbeat. The ensuing second part of this track is another highlight, dampened only by the occasional phrase "Ladies and gentlemen, the star of the show." The give and take on "Wake Up LA!" is poorly recorded, but the spirit and verve cannot be denied. It ends in controversy though. The battle between Supernatural and Craig G has a boxing-match atmosphere on the appropriately titled "Clash of the Titans." Coming across as a battle of urban poetic gunslingers, the duo certainly entertains the audience over nearly 12 minutes. "Get Ready to Rumble" features the rapper being a showman, taking words from the audience and creating rhymes from them. The remainder of the album contains some other quality tracks. "Supernatural and A-Butta," taken from a radio broadcast at New York University, is another freestyle rap that sounds like it's been well rehearsed. Admirers of Cypress Hill would definitely enjoy "Cosmic Slop," a harsh narrative with the first traces of scratching on the record.


Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Best known for his impressive freestyling skills (he was heavily featured in the 2000 documentary Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme), Supernatural released a series of singles before his infamous battle with Juice Crew member Craig G in 1997, in which he was dealt the first major loss of his career. Though he eventually won in a rematch against the rapper, Supernatural's perfect image was left slightly tarnished. In 2003 he released a compilation of previously recorded work, The Lost Freestyle Files, followed...
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The Lost Freestyle Files, Supernatural
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