Supreeme is a three man group from Atlanta, GA, made up of Tom Cruz (Dope Pope), Negashi Armada, and King Self. All three of these young men rap while Tom Cruz does double duty with production. I first heard of this group through the rapper Murs who released his second album with 9th wonder earlier this year (Murray's Revenge). Prior to the release of Supremacy, Murs became an A&R for Record Collection music, co-signed Supreeme, brought them together with Record Collection, and took them out on tour. An evening browsing Murs' official website brought me to Supreeme and their first album, Church & State. Soon as I heard one song from that record I knew I was on to something different. Something fresh, interesting, and definitely dope. Supremacy is the group's debut album for Record Collection.
Supremacy is exactly the type of vibrance and youthful expression Hip Hop needs. Tons of energy that's translated into good music, good lyrics, a good image, and a great record. Supremacy is able to sound care free without being novelty or coming off as pure nonsense. It's able to deliever originality, which is definitely lacking in modern Hip Hop. I can honestly say that there is not a single Hip Hop artist or group I could compare them to in their sound. Supreeme's image is a mesh of popular culture, popular music, fashion, and independent music of the 1980's and 1990's. Fresh Prince references, a love for fly shoes, a love for the three elements of popular rap (money, cash, hoes), a love for popular culture, and an overall appreciation for the finer things in life make up Supreeme.
This is definitely an album that grows on you. Upon initial listening, I enjoyed the record but not nearly as much as I do now. The witty lines may take a minute to sink in and the tight drum patterns within the beats only bump louder and better with time. “U Can Say All U Want” is my favorite song on the album, production wise. The melodies in the song keep it consistently on repeat in my CD player. The choice of samples for the beats really catch my attention because they’re not the typical soul or jazz records often sampled in Hip Hop.
Lyrically this album definitely holds your attention and entertains you. Tom Cruz kept me rolling with lines such as, “I make moves on your bitch right in front of you/Black Tom Cruz in this bitch, what you wanna do” and “It’s Dope Pope aka Tom Cruz, yo, I spank you with the same belt ya mom use.” King Self is a master of technical emcee skills and lyricism, and Negashi brings dope lyricism and personality to his rhymes. Besides its growing period, this is a wonderful album. It’s definitely one of my favorite albums of the year. This is not your average throwback indie rap record. Supremacy brings something new rather than attempt to bring back old styles. It delievers something different and does it very well. Keep an eye out and your ears open for Supreeme.
Release date: April 25, 2006
Label: Record Collection
Rating: 8.5 / 10
On the web: http://www.supreeme.com
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