Has-lo In Case I Don't Make It

As you might have guessed from the album's sombre, pessimistic title, the latest offering from Illadelph MC/producer Has-lo is a sobering, introspective ode to the thoughts of a man on the brink of an uninviting future, taking stock of an equally unsettling past. The pictures painted on In Case I Don't Make It range from vivid memories of a fractured youth ("Hold On"), of losing all you never had ("Everything Is") to historical rundowns of a self-destructive rap world and an interesting broadcast of the many voices running through the MC's head ("Limbo"). Has-lo does an admirable job conveying his pensive reflections and imparting the record's many thoughtful messages, but his words are often dragged down by the pace and weight of too many plodding, dirge-ish arrangements. Tracks like "Years Later" and the ominous "Storm Clouds," though intentionally reflective, suffer from monotony. While spirited cuts like rugged street tale "Limit" and "Fiber Optics" fair better, be prepared for a series of hits and misses from the artist's darker turn. (Mello Music Group)