Divine Styler Wordpower:2:Directrix

While Ice T has to resort to playing raves to help maintain some form of fan base and Everlast is recording adult contemporary hip-hop blues, another member of Ice T’s late ‘80s Rhyme Syndicate is building a strong name for himself on the underground circuit after taking a few years off from the hip-hop scene. When Divine Styler was releasing albums back in the day he was dropping some of the most experimental, out-of-this-world hip-hop. But then he disappeared from the scene until the magazine In Search Of ... Divine Styler gave him incentive to return to the scene. Wordpower:2:Directrix is Divine’s ultimate full-length return, an album full of hard, underground West Coast beats produced mostly by Divine Styler with some help on a few tracks by Bilal Bashir and DJ Rhettmatic. Divine Styler and guests are experts of next level hip-hop lyricism, busting rhymes about hip-hop, religion, and space. Styles Of Beyond and Cockni O Dire drop by to show and prove why they are worthy of being down with Divine Styler, while Divine demonstrates why he should be considered the West Coast’s Rakim. There are a number of great tracks on this return, but the best tracks to check are the previously released B-side of the first single (“One Self Duel”), the religious “Hajji,” the Styles Of Beyond-blessed “Micorphenia,” and “Satan Dynasty Killer” featuring Exceed. If there is any complaint to made of this album, it is that Divine Styler holds out on his lyrics until the fourth track, “Unseen Letter.” The three previous tracks are good, but I just want to hear Divine a little earlier. But, after waiting so long for some new material by Divine Styler, a few extra songs can’t really hurt, can they? (DTX)