September 21, 2021

Ice‐T - VI: Return of The Real (1996)

*A photo of the disc is included in the RAR file.
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Style: Gangsta Rap
Label Number: P2 53933
.FLAC via Florenfile
.AAC 256 kbps via Florenfile

© 1996 Priority/Rhyme $yndicate Records
VI: Return of the Real Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
As the title says, Ice-T returns to the street and the hardcore beats with his sixth album, Return of the Real. In fact, the return isn't just to hardcore -- it's to hardcore that happened before gangsta rap, before the message and the music became diluted with endless B-boy posturing and loping P-Funk beats. In concept, the album is brilliant -- Ice-T has always had an eye for lyrical detail and has always been a vocal supporter of hardcore, street-oriented hip-hop; at the very least, his rejection of G-funk/post-NWA gangsta rap is a bold political move. However, Return of the Real doesn't quite re-establish Ice-T as a force, mainly because the production sounds a bit dated. Sure, there are the occasional contemporary flourishes -- usually in the guise of a Wu-Tang-style soundscape -- but for the most part, Ice sounds like he's in his own world. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean that he has created a unique sonic world; it just means that he hasn't progressed far since 1991. Of course, there are a number of tracks that sound vibrant and alive, but Return of the Real can't help escape a creeping sense of stagnation that permeates through the entire album.

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tags: ice t, vi return of the real, 1996, flac,