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IAMISEE & DJ Iron Embark on a Trip to an Otherworldly Realm with “Phantom X” (Album Review)

This is the 6th proper full-length LP from Philadelphia emcee IAMISEE. Coming up as 1/2 of Grace & Divine, the duo would land a short-lived deal with Ruffhouse Records until eventually disbanding. He then embarked on a solo career of his own in 1999 off a self-titled debut & returned a couple years later with 83 (A.D. Three). This was followed up with Adamantium as well as IAMISEE vs DJ Demon andFear & Loathing in the Music Business. But over a decade later, he’s teaming up with DJ Iron to make a comeback on Phantom X.

“A.D.A.G. (Angels, Demons, Aliens, Ghosts)” is a drumless breaking down spiritual beings having a physical experience whereas “Electric” dives into boom bap territory talking about how exactly bright he’s shining. “Champion” works in more kicks & snares explaining that he just has that type of sound just before “Rinse & Repeat” remains in boom bap territory so he can talk about life being confusing at times, which rightfully so.

Moving on from there, “Beyond Worlds” keeps things rugged telling y’all to blast this shit as the wheels of your truck spin leading into “The Meaning” ending the first half of the album over an atmospheric loop with kicks & snares addressing those who think they know what he’s thinking. After the “Outerlude,” we have “Signs of the Times” starting the 2nd leg with a sample-based boom bap beat explaining what this shit be prior to the somewhat psychedelic “Atomic Comet” talking about the way he plans to hit the earth over

After the 2 & a half minutes “Mind” instrumental cut, the title track subset “(33 RPM)” returns to the boom bap likening himself to a breath of fresh air while the song “Timeslip” hooks up some kicks & snares with these grungy guitar licked acknowledging that it’s been a long wait since the fans have last heard from him yet he’s finally here. “Return to Sender” however happens to be a groovy closer dedicated to all the souls stuck in limbo.

Come to find out that Phantom X has been a decade in the making starting in 2013 & completed during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, which is interesting because you can definitely hear they put their all into it. DJ Iron’s production fuses classic hip hop with elements of 60’s psychedelica & bits of acid rock while also further experimenting with vintage organs, phasers, analog filters & tape echoes on top of the dense lyricism taking the listeners to an other-worldly realm.

Score: 7/10

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