Salt Lake City and Sweden are two places that are separated by 5,500 miles yet they are connected by the release of Lasting Impressions. Lasting Impressions is a collaborative album between lyricist uMaNg (Salt Lake City) and Swedish based boom bap specialist B.B.Z. Darney. Lasting Impressions is uMaNg's second full-length release.
Lasting Impressions is a 17 track journey that solidifies uMaNg as one of the most gifted lyricists that I have heard in a long time. The production, handled entirely by B.B.Z. Darney, rivals the production that is presented on Big L's first album Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous. uMaNg's style consists of a combination of Big L's wittiness, Chino XL's fiery delivery, and Canibus's pinpoint lyricism.
I decided to provide a track by track album review of Lasting Impressions. You listen to the album while reading the review. Let me know what you think about the album in the comments.
Intro (Good As Gone) - Nice intro to detail the rhyming writing process.
Good As Gone - Big L reincarnated! seriously the first 4 bars are fantastic and the Salt Lake City emcee delivers a ton of bravado over a lovely backdrop from B.B.Z. Darney. uMaNg rhymes boastfully, "when I rhyme you can smell the excitement aboard/ you a mistake, you couldn't spend more than one night with a broad/ you get hit broadside with a board/ to wake your followers, y'all got the brainwashed mind of a Borg." During the second verse uMaNg cleverly rhymes, "you need to sit down and stay pat/ or you'll end up like Tony Parker from a Chris Brown and Drake spat." The inclusion of these Big L bars "after this you're good as gone, word is born/ I leave mics torn, I put it on," is awesome.
Autumn State of Mind - "Autumn State of Mind" depicts a hungry lyricist that reveals his inspiration from the fall season. uMaNg states that he "the beat's pure, rip it if you screw hard/ I give variety and flip it every two bars." uMaNg sprinkles in some autumn based references such as Oktoberfest, raking, leaves and more.
Definition of a Real Emcee (feat. Dj Grazzhoppa) - Yes sir! loving this track as it provides the definition of a real emcee. uMaNg recruits the homie Dj Grazzhoppa to add a lovely scratch hook and uMaNg destroys the beat with consistent lyricism ("If you eager to test dude/ I'll leave you in a tighter spot than a pile of rocks squeezed in a test tube").
Exit Wound - "My pen's itching to verse/ Obama trying to give DC hope like Robert Griffin the third," uMaNg raps confidently on "Exit Wound". The thing that I love about this album so far is the chemistry between uMaNg and B.B.Z. Darney. The emcee sounds at home over Darney's 90's inspired production stating that "I get my beats from Sweden, BBZ be the reason, I'm a beast emceeing." uMaNg stays slaying wack emcees on this album.
History - "History" deviates from the norm as uMaNg spits some introspective based bars. Dope track! check the video below.
Cold Days - "Cold Days" is another introspective gem from uMaNg. The hook sums up uMaNg's mission, "these cold days, got me in a physical rage/ walking through the dark path through this invisible maze." Being transparent is something that grabs and keeps my attention. uMaNg doesn't go into deep detail on "Cold Days" yet I can feel his expression due to his straight forward delivery.
If It Ain't Real (feat. Dj Grazzhoppa) - "Microphone check one, two you hooked in/ we cause a buzz like the Nets moved to Brooklyn," uMaNg raps patiently. This track is filled with Source Quotable worthy lines ("for every rhyme you hurl up/ it takes a dope line every four years like the World Cup" and "I'm not liked like Arizona immigration laws"). Grazz on the hook once again!
Parasites - "Y'all some parasites, sticking like germs," uMaNg raps this on the hook. More braggadocio rhymes from uMaNg, "I'm bad company and I'm proud of it/ I put my pen in a downward spiral, Bobby Brown the..." I have learned that uMaNg shows flashes of a horrorcore rap style, the only difference is that he has tons of lyrics.
Burn M*thaf*cka - Ten tracks in and some things stand out so far...I am consistently bombarded with dope lyricism and production. uMaNg's wittiness makes you pays attention ("Burn M*thaf*cka" continues to grab my attention). There is a pinch of monotony though, a lot of braggadocio based content. I believe this is done on purpose though because uMaNg wants to leave a lasting impression that he is a lyricist that will be reckoned with for years to come.
2013: A Space Odyssey - Right when I talk about monotony uMaNg and B.B.Z. deliver "2013: A Space Odyssey". uMaNg goes in on the second verse stating his "quotes are seen as deep/ they provide more insight than a high dose of DMT." Check this bar, "We make music that touches on the universal scale." I love how uMaNg deeps a little into the space concept. This is a welcomed change to the all that boombap goodness that I admire.
What I'm About - Another consistent braggadocio track from the rhyme ruler uMaNg. I love the old school feel of "What I'm About". More quotables from the Salt Lake City emcee: "you must be a comedian cause your profession is a killing joke", "to be on the safe side, we shut you down early like you Steven Strausburg", and "I live by some rules/ while y'all violating like Division 1 schools" haha. Solid track from the dynamic duo.
Mind Stays Keen (Rough Cassette Tribute) - All I have to say is "Mind Stays Keen" is dope. Check these lyrics:
I'm out to satisfy as far as moving the G spot/
Wish I was a shoe in for Detox/
If based on skills, never wait for deals/
It'd be easy as a race down hill/
I destroy you in the art/
You as phony as those broads on E...Khloe and Lamar/
I got a story in the bars/
But these record labels are too prude, they ignore me from the start/
Instead of pouring the applause/
Only move to get loud buzz/
Set a flame to myself like a Buddhist exile/
And that is just the first verse, the second verse is a gem as well. uMaNg brags once again, "Vocal speaking tones of aggression/ mic check means your bones about to leap towards the exit." Classic KRS-One quote for the hook: "my mind stays keen, I'm hardly ever seen, I do a lot work just not in the mainstream."
Insanity - "Insanity" is an awesome track...actually one of my favorite tracks from Lasting Impressions. uMaNg reflects on a love/hate relationship with fans on the first verse; "These fans egos as bloated as me/ They expect you work your a** off on an album then upload it for free/ thank you for your short attention span/ but to my real heads, it's to you I extend my hand." uMaNg opens up with the second verse stating that "pornography was once what my addiction was."
Battleships Over Sunrise - "Battleships Over Sunrise" provides glimpses of uMaNg's storytelling prowess. This track shows that uMaNg can tackle a topic with precision. He speaks about the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear blasts as evidenced by the second verse. "We on the verge for a Nuclear winter!"
Lasting Impressions - The second half of this release is stellar because of the transparency that uMaNg displays. The first verse finds uMaNg vocalizing the inner struggle of man while the second verse delves deep into the struggle chasing a dream (I definitely relate to this verse, check it out below).
Provide financially for those I'm completely responsible for/
Dying to hear that metaphorical knock at the door/
Fighting tears as I know it's a probable no/
I'm just a father regretful/
Gotta lot of respect for my friends, but jealous they are former successful/
My patient at night means, I'm chasing a pipe dream/
I should be doing more than embracing a rhyme scheme/
How long before a dream is a wasted effort/
What song will make it seem that it's tasting before?/
This bitterness is building the cold rigidness/
The feeling is, I'm different from old written sh*t/
I'll be the first to admit, the hunger don't burn as it did/
The more verses I spit, the further I get/
Without the fans support and lack of funds/
I'll doubt I rap for long on albums son/
Outro (Walking Away) - uMaNg definitely left a lasting impression with this performance. A lasting impression is loosely defined as something that lingers for some. The lyricism, the production and the honesty are the things that I gravitate to and I am glad to be a fan.
What is your favorite song off of Lasting Impressions?