Labor of Love is the latest album from Arizona based emcee Scott Allen. The journey to complete an album is what I enjoy the most about the process. Scott Allen states that "during the process of creating this record I have gone through many personal tragedies, heart breaks, and set backs. I invite you to listen to these hardships and my attempt to use music as a form of therapy. You might have some fun, find some common ground to relate to, and maybe even a little good ol fashion Hip Hop."
Below I decided to present a track by track review of Labor of Love. You can check out Labor of Love on Bandcamp and follow along with me if you want.
Still Hip-Hop is a perfect way to start an album. Dj Idull's scratching ability made the intro very enjoyable.
My Two Cents (feat. Playdough) - Listening to "My Two Cents" made me smile. Scott Allen honestly rhymes "I’ve loved hip hop but never got a dime for the commitment." The honesty of Scott Allen's verse is complimented well by a stellar appearance from Deepspace 5 emcee Playdough.
DayBright - You definitely have to admire the passion and transparency of Scott's lyrics on this track. During the first verse we find Scott Allen express struggles associated with alcoholism as evidenced by the forthcoming bars: "I went to a meeting and yes I felt out of place/ There was twelve steps and I was way ahead of the pace." The second and third verse are also awesome as well as the rapper presents the notion of struggling with faith, holding onto religion and not conforming for the masses.
Ladder of Jacob - Scott Allen showcases his poetry prowess and creative wordplay on "Ladder of Jacob." The story starts with looking through the serpent's eye and ends with the birth of Adam. The rapper sprinkles in some creative wordplay as well ("Who wants to praise the queen of heaven is that who Mary is").
Long Road - Scott flexes his storytelling prowess as he addresses drug addiction, fear and the long road that we deal with on a daily basis. The production for this album is stellar so far and Scott Allen delivers strong verses.
Beautiful Princess - I love how the hook sets the tone for this song. Scott Allen definitely channels Prince Charming and describes his ideal princess. I can tell that Scott write this song after watching Shrek haha.
I Write - The second half of the album starts with the introspective "I Write". Scott states that he would "cut off his hands and write straight from the heart." The inclusion of the Mobb Deep vocal sample is brilliant, definitely feeling this cut.
Hardships - Another stellar track by Scott Allen. This emcee definitely has a way with creating mental images with his words. I am pretty sure you will like this track as well.
Children Cry - Scott Allen addresses the complications of divorce and the impact that it has on his children with "Children Cry". I love artists that truly share their snapshots with the world. Scott Allen suggests that he is human with these lines, "But life is what it is and know I loved your mom and really tried/ You’re the sole reason I live and I am sorry you saw your daddy cry."
Full Circle - Scott Allen attacks domestic abuse on "Full Circle". The Christina Aguilera vocal sample is very appropriate given the subject manner of the song. The title of this song makes sense, I had to listen to it twice to truly absorb the message.
Shadows - Another introspective track from Scott Allen. This time he presents his sins and shortcomings to the Lord on "Shadows". The third verse is my favorite. Definitely check out the appreciation that Scott gives to the Lord by peeping the track below.
Do You Remember (feat. Glad2Mecha, Ill Treats) - Your typical Hip-Hop homage track! Love the chemistry between Scott and Glad2mecha.
Powder and Paints (feat. Talent Kills) - A little bit of powder, a little bit of paint...Impressive track from Scott and Talent Kills. I love the angle and the ability to stray from the norm and present some politically charged content.
Whiskey Lullaby - Labor of Love concludes with another strong track that showcases Scott's storytelling skill. You can check out the video for "Whiskey Lullaby" HERE.
What is your favorite song off of Labor of Love?