Addicted to the Grind
Da Hitman (Swurv Radio Music Director) The introduction of Epademik's street album "Addicted to the Grind" starts off with a definition of addiction and leads into a skit that reminded me of some of the skits you might have heard on those classic NWA albums. The crisp engineering immediately impressed me once the lead track "I'm an Addict" jumped in. Epademik's vocals ride the bounce of the beat perfect and the flips in the pitch of his delivery keep the energy flowing smooth. The production of the "I'm an Addict" is almost too good to leave those empty bars at the end of the song. A DJ like me will jump in there and chop that out to a loop quick. "Change" once again shows Epademik's versatility and ability to ride his pitch to match the melody. Lyrically Epademik is nice, but his cadence has an old school vibe. If there is a knock on him it would be his cadence, but you have to applaud his lyrical skills. "Can U Relate" is my favorite track by the time I get four tracks deep. It has that classic west coast bounce flavor with an arrangement that keeps your attention. "Mr. Know It All" provides the opportunity to flex Epademik's storytelling skills and the hook is absolute fire! By now the comparison to Eminem is inevitable and rather Epademik likes that or not, it's unavoidable. "Tight" has a heavy stomp vibe with the highlight being the hooks and the personality Epademik allows to come through with his cadence and pitch. His voice itself is a virtual instrument in "Tight" and all of that combined to make this one of my top picks from the album. "Waste My Time" sounds like it would be best heard in a grimy club with a live band headbangin' in front of a mosh pit. Yeah, it's aggressive and guitar-driven. Once again attention to song arrangement pays off and keeps "Waste My Time" interesting from beginning to end. "Aired Out" returns to a classic west coast vibe and I can't say it enough - the engineering is so crisp and well-mastered that it deserves recognition in itself. It was genius to bring in a feature on "Got That Vibe" to break up the run of Epademik's voice. Once again he left a lot of open bars on the track which will get ripped quick - the beat is funky as hell. "Talk a Lot" is a refreshing flip, but I swear it is screaming for Warren G on the hooks. "My Issues" is the first song I come across that I just don't like so I eventually skip to "Believe It" which again is screaming for Warren G on the hook. It could be that Epademik's delivery sometimes sounds like Warren G and that's why he keeps poppin' in my head like Warren G just really needs to be on this album. I was vibin' with "Believe It' for a minute, but got tired of it and skipped ahead to "Hear That?". "Ransom Sacrifice" is has a dope loop running through it that is the highlight of the track. I wasn't impressed with Epademik's cadence and flow or wordplay though. The final track is "True Colors" but doesn't stand out until you get a little over a minute into it and Epademik storms in with some of the fiercest emotion in his voice heard in the entire album. Overall the album is a good addition to your library and best suited for bumpin' in your whip or bangin' around the house, but I don't really hear radio or club potential from the album. On the other hand, if you're living on the West Coast this might qualify with much higher reviews. Definitely has a regional feel.