P-Type’s critically acclaimed 2013 album, ‘Rap‘, had its feet in multiple musical worlds; although mainly a hip-hop album, it was flavored with pop and pop-rock influences. Now he’s back with ‘Street Poetry‘, in which he loses the pop sentimentality and shows a little more teeth with a pure hip-hop approach. And to me, it’s the more convincing work. P-Type leads the listener through ‘Street Poetry’ with a new level fire and finesse.
One of the main factors that makes ‘Street Poetry’ such an effective album is its thorough, intricate instrumental composition. P-Type has rhythmic savvy and fuses live instruments with samples really well, making sure that there isn’t one beat that isn’t juicy. They’re often syncopated and feature different textures with each sixteenth-note subdivision. There is a tasteful amount of development from loop to loop to help keep the story spinning. My favorite beat on the album is in “Do The Right Rap,” with Huckleberry P. Over top the steady, shuffling drum set is a bass line that is ever so slightly behind the beat, which gives the song a subtle but delicious sass.
Another small factor that contributes to the strength of ‘Street Poetry’ is P-Type’s tempo choices. All of the tracks on this album have a quick, pressing tempo and maintain impressive momentum. The tempos fit perfectly with the giant energy of the music and performers. If they were slower, I’m not sure the album would be as exhilarating.
Of course, you can’t review this album without discussing P-Type’s rapping. His rhymes and rhythms are complex but catchy. P-Type has a way of starting his tracks rapping on the beat, then gradually removing or adding extra syllables to create syncopation. He sounded too beat-y at times in ‘Rap’, but this time around, almost everything out of his mouth is thickly syncopated, and it makes for quite the entrancing listening experience. When you actually try to follow P-Type’s rhythms and how they line up with the beat, it can give you a headache — but P-Type’s dexterity makes them sound easy.
There’s a lot to dig your teeth into with this album. The production, composition, and rapping are all thoroughly and smartly executed. The intelligence of ‘Street Poetry’ only amplifies the charisma and emotion that P-Type brings to the table. The album is an exciting addition to P-Type’s artistry that shouldn’t be missed.