The word “Classic” is not one that I like to throw around but, this Contagion project by Sick.Life has all the makings of a Classic Hip-Hop album. I mean, this thing is truly solid from front to back. Production, Lyrics and the chemistry between the artists all blend well together to make a truly great album.
Sick.Life – Contagion
We begin with track 1 which is also the title track “Contagion” which features Tron and Casca going in over a beat that could easily be described as West Coast influenced. The production on this track brings to mind Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers Lp. It’s gritty and dark, but such production has groomed listeners to expect nothing less than lyrical dominance accompanying it…and Tron and Casca don’t disappoint. With the opening bar, “I ain’t put my foot up somebody’s ass all week” demonstrating the type of aggression hip-hop is known for, it’s not hard to understand what I mean by lyrical dominance. Both artists ride the beat with the precision of a graffiti artist tagging a train, while showing listeners why they are in essence better than the competition and dropping a couple of jewels along the way.
Next up we have “Xtra” featuring E$, BFNE & Sonny Wesson, which I’d say is a certified Hood Anthem. The hook is catchy and capitalizes on the use of the word “extra” as it is used as slang. The production stays in that dark area while 3 new artists paint their picture, all holding their own lyrically establishing Sick Life as a crew of respectable emcees (and it’s only track 2). Now the 3rd track “Fall Back” featuring C.Notes & Josh Brown brings us from the dark into the light. Production on this one is a little bit more upbeat and the chorus definitely makes it Club Banger worthy. The Vibe on “Fall Back” definitely feels like a club night and the accompanying verses only solidify the vibe. Now if “Fall Back” was pushing us towards the club, then “Get It N GO” featuring Lavoe & Explicit is the first song playing when we walk in. The chorus sounds almost like something that Young Thug should be featured on (which nowadays is a sign of a hit), and the verses are both lyrical and entertaining. But, unlike the West Coast vibes we were getting from the 1st two tracks, track 4 has us bouncing to a more “Dirty South” influenced vibe.
For the purposes of this review I didn’t include a review on “Heavy Vibes” featuring Elia Ezparza & Josh Brown, but I will say it lives up to it’s name. But, track 6 “Dreamers” featuring Josh Brown, Sonny Wesson, E$, BFNE, Lavoe & C.Notes is definitely the kind of tune you want to put on and just go for a drive while you bang it on repeat. The beat has a dream-like quality to it that makes the title make sense instantly. Of course the artists telling their rags to riches story through excellent rhyme schemes and wordplay also make “Dreamers” the perfect title for the track. Track 7 “We On Now” featuring Drew, Young O & M33zy continues the Rags to Riches story as they make it known to their haters and disbelievers that they are in fact here to stay, while keeping us in the mood to go club hopping.
The 8th track brings us back to the days when Emcees were out to prove that they’re the best out, “Southwest Choppers Remix” featuring B$ BFNE & Chi Bully is a great example of what lyricism is all about!!! The two wordsmiths show their versatility and incredible style, while almost challenging anyone who thinks that they are better to step forward. “Hop Out” featuring Rare Individuals is a bit more upbeat with it’s melodic production and infectious chorus that would sound great on the radio. After a brief interlude for track 10, track 11 “Floor It” featuring Shef da Chef & Pro Davis provides the perfect atmosphere for hands to be raised in the air as listeners bounce up and down. And Shef & Pro make sure that their flows have the same bouncing effect as the production on the track. Which brings us to the final track on the Contagion project titled “Contagion Outro” featuring Breana Marin, Tru-One, E$ and BFNE – this is the perfect ending for what has been an incredible journey.
Hopefully, you’re able to listen to the project from start to finish to truly appreciate what a great album this is in its entirety. Production on this project is solid and the level of lyricism shown from all the emcees featured on Contagion was spectacular!!! This is usually the part of the review where I’d make my criticisms about the sound quality and overall engineering of the project, but everything about this project is on point and pleasing to the ear. So, be sure to checkout Sick Life…seriously.