Last Emperor Music, Magic, Myth

A split with Dr. Dre, a drop by Rawkus, and many months later, the debut by West Philadelphia’s the Last Emperor has finally arrived. Emp’s idiosyncratic perspective and deft delivery are epitomised on "Secret Wars (I and II),” storytelling masterpieces in which he depicts various battles between rappers and comic book heroes. Another highlight is "One Life,” a gritty tale of life and death featuring the ever soulful Esthero and the late Gravedigga Poetic, who steals the show with an intense verse detailing his losing struggle with colon cancer. Of course, it’s not all gold, making Music, Magic, Myth somewhat of a hit-or-miss affair. But when he hits, he’s on point like a pirouette. (Red Planet)