By Stranga The Great
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer
Those who have kept up with the evolution of hip hop online should know Irv Da PHENOM! He is a legend within the blogosphere and one of the first rappers to gain notoriety from just the internet. Now ten years deep, Irv Da Phenom is going hard with the new music.
After finding success and strong reviews with Dream Big, Hustle Hard, Irv Da PHENOM! is returning with the sequel. A veteran in the game, Irv knows what it takes to put a full project together. He begins his latest project exuding this confidence and doing his own thing.
Irv Da PHENOM! represents the ongoing shift in hip hop music that began ten years ago. His career spans this change and the opening track off Vol. 2, “Still,” shows this more than any track off the album. With “Still,” he not only displayed an advanced level of intelligence with his lyricism, he also brought in strong melodies, made a good track, and one that fits with this late summer vibe.
Hailing from Kansas City, Irv Da PHENOM!’s sound boasts this Midwest/Dirty South vibe. But, the most-impressive feat of this project is his own Kanye West “Through The Wire”-esque performance. He completed the sequel to his 2011 project just days after having five of his wisdom teeth pulled and he sounded as if he hadn’t missed a beat.
Literally, with this new project, Irv didn’t miss a beat, as he went in on every record on the project. Not only was he sure to make good music, he also came with a message, which is more important than anything, during these tough social times. Surely, with this many years under his belt, Irv Da PHENOM! is no rookie and Dream Big, Hustle Hard, Vol. 2 is going to force every rapper in the industry to step their game up.
In this new era of swag and harmonies, many have begun to pay less attention to the actual bars. But, when a rapper comes in with a full project and they perfect the swag and harmonies and then put forth an effort that may make them the top lyricist in the game, it is time to take note of that. This is exactly what Irv Da PHENOM! did and then he also touched on some very hot-button topics.
Rounding this project out with a few guest appearances, as Gee Watts shows up on “Look Mama, We Made It,” Irv has offered up one of the best albums of the year. This one is definitely worth checking out when it officially drops.
Hip Hop Vibe’s Rating: 8/10
Follow Stranga The Great on Twitter @StrangaTheGreat.