Iron Solomon Monster

Iron SolomonMonster
It's impossible to deny that long-time underground battle rapper Iron Solomon can spit bars (YouTube some of his epic back-and-forths). However, on debut album Monster, which includes guest spots from the likes of Paul Wall, Talib Kweli and Novel, much of that notable energy is absent on a collection that has its fair share of uneven production and verses lacking vigour. The album starts off on the right foot with "Almost There," which sees the MC getting his 8 Mile on over a soulful, anthemic beat as he chronicles the struggles he's encountered to get to the point he's at today. However, on tracks like the boastful "Get On My Level," Iron's robotic, rapid-fire verses, with minimal intonation, over the spare drum pattern actually end up irritating instead of impressing. Monster proves to be a bit of a letdown considering the potential and talent Solomon has. Still, judgement should be reserved until we see what he cooks up on the follow-up. (Royal/3D)