Ransom & Statik Selektah
The relationship between a producer and rapper is a sacred bond that lends itself to creating the most personal and cohesive soundscape indicative of an artist's heart. In this case, that bond is between New Jersey's Ransom and producer extraordinaire Statik Selektah, for collaborative album The Proposal. The ten-track project is anchored by gritty lyrics, raw storylines and an array of distinctive Selektah productions, which perfectly complement Ransom's chaotic anguish fuelling this album. Opening with the piano- and organ-laced "I Do," the dreary, gospel-like joint paves the way for the themes: rebellion and hard-hitting production. These become increasingly evident on "Unexplainable," which samples Kanye's "Barry Bonds," putting Ransom in a lane with the upper echelon. Though Ransom discuses his credibility in the industry, what shines here track is Statik's production. If it was ever unclear what makes Statik Selektah's production stand out from the rest, "Unexplainable" makes that clearly identifiable, from the soul sampling to the scratches and heavy drum lines to brassy chords, it's sonic bliss. While Ransom spends much of the album speaking on his experiences, he also pays homage to the people who have come before him. Appropriately, "Life of Sin" samples both Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac, acting as a double-edged sword when discussing his troubled past, and the unfortunate endings that can result. Likewise, "1996" pays homage to Nas's "It Was Written (Intro)," sampling the iconic the Lost Generation. With Ransom's poignant lyrics and Statik Selektah's vivacious production, the duo succeed in putting The Proposal together as a modern-day East-coast boom-bap project, proposing a new view on a classic sound.
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