Project Mayhem

Artist: L.E.G.A.C.Y.Title: Project MayhemRating: 4 StarsReviewed by: William E. Ketchum III

L.E.G.A.C.Y. didn’t have to bump Jurrassic 5 to see that power comes in numbers—all he had to do was take a look at his Justus League crew. After Little Brother made their stamp on underground Hip-Hop with The Listening, the trio proceeded to divide and conquer: Rapper Big Pooh established a solo name with his Sleepers LP, Phonte made Internet love with Nicolay via Connected, and producer 9th Wonder began his ascent toward A-list status, lending his Fruity Loops magic to Jay-Z, De La Soul, and Destiny’s Child. L.E.G.A.C.Y. is next in line, and with his solo debut, Project Mayhem (6 Hole), he shows that he’s got just as much star power as his Justus League predecessors.

With all of the album’s production coming from established in-house beat generals 9th Wonder and Khrysis, L.E.G.A.C.Y. formats Project Mayhem as a resume of his MC qualifications. “Cold As A Butcher” and “Too Long” display his punchline heavy battle raps, while “Throw Something” and “Fast Girls” show his hit-making capabilities, crafting a boisterous bow-throwing anthem with the former and appreciating the opposite sex on the latter. As L.E.G.A.C.Y.’s Hip-Hop interview continues he manifests thought-provoking material as well, offering a plethora of ironic situations over silky violins on “2-Sided Coin” and giving social commentary on “Imperfect World.” Even though he occasionally strays off-theme on “Insomnia,” the track’s snare-driven, eerie sample-laden backdrop garners Most Valuable Beat nominations.

Along with his talent, L.E.G.A.C.Y. manages to escape becoming a Hip-Hop Tim Duncan. By tacking on the Project Mayhem album concept and wearing his charisma like a medal of honor, the Carolina panther establishes a personality behind the songs. You feel sorry for him when he’s wallowing in his faults on “I’m Nothing” or recollecting the death of a loved one on “Broken Heart Disease,” and it’s hard not to crack a smile while observing him kick game to a “Sista Girl” he has his eyes on.

With the high level of production and L.E.G.A.C.Y.’s rhyming capability, Project Mayhem is void of any flat-out failures. Instead of playing Ed Norton and Brad Pitt separately, L.E.G.A.C.Y. combines the conventional simile-spitter with the outside-of-the box thinking of Tyler Durden to create a complete MC. Starting a cult and spearheading massive cultural change would be lofty goals, but establishing a buzz and earning respect aren’t too far out of reach.

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