Esham Sacrificial Lamb

While Detroit rapper/producer Esham is often acknowledged as the originator of horrorcore in hip-hop, his new album, Sacrificial Lambz, tends instead towards socio-political and religious commentary, as well as gangsta rap, rather than the style he has labelled as "acid rap” and "wicked shit.” The basic gist of the album is perfectly summed up on the title track with the vocal sample "the more you educate yourself, the more you understand where things come from, the more obvious things become, and you begin to see lies everywhere.” With this album, Esham hopes to educate in order to wake the sheep up to the real world that surrounds them and their expected role as sacrificial lambs chosen for them by the powers that be. It’s a noble endeavour but at 27 tracks in length and with absolutely no guests, the album becomes a little overbearing and boring long before the final song ends. It also doesn’t help that Esham’s old school flow is slow and plodding, and rarely changes. His flow doesn’t always suit the beats either. However, the bombastic drums and unique sample choices — often smooth but sometimes hard rockin’ — combine to create simple, minimalist beats that are one of the best elements of the album, although there is still the occasional generic production. Lose some of that dead weight and Sacrificial Lambz would be a much better record. And it wouldn’t have hurt to use numbers rather than letters for the track listing, especially considering there are more tracks than letters in the alphabet. (Gothom Inc.)