"I am seldom surprised by the latest albums to drop, but this one is a must for any fan of Hip Hop." - Reggie D, FryBread Radio, Base FM (New Zealand)
"Citizen X" - Album of the Week Interview
FryBread Radio, Base FM, [Auckland, NZ]
Citizen X Review by Reggie D
With an album laced with appearances from some incredible veterans where did these guys pop up from? I think this is a fair question. The answer is immaterial, the important thing is they did pop up!!!
Ariginal certainly holds his own and then some, with his tight effortless flow while taking the beats Sylence throws at him in stride. Certainly the lyrical standout from the pack… something I don’t say lightly as I am a BIG Heiro fan and the album has a number of the members featuring.
The production from Sylence tells a storyI certainly felt both
The guest list is beyond impressive with a personal highlight being another up-and-comer “Scribes”. The track is a classic and should certainly hold “Stickup Kids” place in the “That’s the Joint” crate!
of a man that has been making beats for some time. Often haunting and constantly evolving, this production breathes a breath of fresh air into a genre that is currently overrun with beat makers churning out a constant flow of much the same. Sylence andAriginal had a presence as a team, gelling seamlessly to produce this great music.
I am seldom surprised by the latest albums to drop, but this one is a must for any fan of Hip Hop.
Blessings from New Zealand boys, keep making the Truth!!
- Reggie D
Written by Whitney Porter of
Citizen X "The California sound is undeniably OG. It’s"riding down the sunny streets, laid back in da whip, bumping that 808, boom bap. Pimp-livin. It’s the nightlife, where standing in line waiting for the club doors to open is better than what will happen inside; witnessing emcees that are on their way up, spit-free verses curbside, like magic. And within that ever-present Cali lifestyle, there are these gentlemen, and homegirls, who live the hustle to support that sound. The cats that wake in the morning to work their day-job, but are really superstars in disguise. Citizen X’s. Puttin up with the boss’s bullshit- getting on the grimy- all the while rolling rhymes through their heads; waiting for the next session; the next time to shine. Hustlin CDs out of the trunk when the day ends; making connections; battling rhymes on the corners; rockin shows…. All to wake up the next day and do it again. Review of Ariginal x Sylence - "
Ariginal and Sylence have captured that scene, capitalizing on a classic Cali sound. They reverently created a soundtrack of inspiration, to help propel every Citizen X of California, and beyond, to keep on the grind. Undeniably, OG.
…Where it all begins. The instrumentals lay out the morning before our Citizen X’s feet. The sun is rising. He’s rolling out of bed as dawn comes, and Alma’s beautiful vocals represent that first stretch- that first realization that opening your eyes again is a blessing, and reason enough to take advantage of another opportunity to make the day yours.
Track 1: The Arrival ft. Alma Belen Carlson
Ariginal’s verse tells Citizen X the time is now. Let’s do this….
Track 2: Citizen X
Snap your fingers with me. Groove with me to that high hat and snare. This is a good place to talk about our emcee, Ariginal. Where’d this cat come from? The verbiage coming out of this dood’s mouth is something serious and equally important is the solid delivery. He’s truly smooth like butter- watch out!
Track 3: Stickup Kids ft. Scribes
Truly our citizen knows he, “can’t leave rap alone the game needs me” (p.s. making Jay Z so much more legit in this scratch right hur.) Scribes comes in and kills it. Another emcee who’s privy to the struggles of the daily-understanding there’s temptation around every corner and mistakes to be made but, “for the most part I got my shit together…always in the top percentage if you measure.” Nice.
Track 4: Gym Socks Funk ft. Sene and Co$$
If this ain’t the anthem to keep our citizen bumpin, I don’t know what is. The keys, the scratch, and of course, the pimp of all pimps- James Brown, telling X, “get on up.” You can just picture our citizen; slacks, dress shirt, fedora- getting it done.
Track 5: Fake Fantasy
(A) the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills sample is certainly the best example of all things foolish (B) the club tone of the joint pulls together the scene- let’s face it, sometimes you gonna be Sylence’splayin tracks in a club and silly bitches will be fronting. Ariginal pulls a nice little verse, “I’m laughin my ass off, keepin the party rockin. I shuffle often with a deck of cards, deal out jokers that laugh at your bars. This gimmick rap set by industry to trap stars, can’t go with ours…cause Sylence is golden…” <— oh, I see what you did there. …We couldn’t have a dedication to a hustler’s life in Cali without addressing the shady.
Track 6: Cali4ya ft. Opio
The star-studded heads that are featured on this freshman album are pretty insane and speak volumes about the potential expected. Opio comes in first on the track and sets the tone, but I gotta be honest…I think Ariginalout shined him a bit. Clearly, Ariginal is out to prove he can match and exceed seniors in the game. Ariginal experiments a bit, adopting a sing-song rhythm to his rhyme which reflects that classic Cali 90′s sound- back when G’s were G’s and unafraid to have a little fun with their delivery.
Track 7: Highrise Park ft. Gift of Gab
Oh, Lawdy, and dey gots Gabby Gabby Gabby on dis joint too?? I love how this song starts out… a phone call from one playa to another. Gabby gives nothing less than expected and Sylence even has some fun cutting in an ice cream truck song to play against Ariginal’s verse. Old school keys with a back-home melody break in before and after each emcee, and rounds out the feeling of camaraderie between those on the straight and narrow.
Track 8: Rebelz ft. Koncept and A Plus
Our citizen finally gets to cut loose. The day was spent working for someone else’s hustle and now it’s time to break out, roll up, and get on a session with the homies. All the gentlemen hit this track hard, perfectly matched by scratches and cuts. Kickin it old’ school. Respect.
Track 9: Growing Pains ft. Rey Resurreccion
This is my favorite track, production-wise. The concept is rich and consistently drives our citizen through …the good life. The break after Rey’s verse is the perfect Sylence takes us right back into the groove without a hiccup. The violins at the end of the track for some reason remind me of the Godfather…maybe that’s what the “G” in “OG” really stands for.
Track 10: Patriot Games
Beyond the obstacles of the hip hop game is the underlying struggle of society, some of which ( like the Rodney King beat down) literally brought Cali’s missteps into every citizen’s view nationwide…. But our citizen isn’t going to let anything take him down. It’s time to strap on yo colors. This world may be a lot of things, but most important…this world belongs to the Citizen X.
Word! If you slept on this album, it’s time to wake up! This is your call to action… get on the grind and make us all proud. Good job, Ariginal and Sylence…much respect.