Artist: A.D.O.R.Title: Signature of the IllRating: 3 StarsReviewed by: Bill “Low-Key” HeinzelmanHip-Hop heads in tune with the early 90’s will most likely remember A.D.O.R. for his Pete Rock produced underground classic “Let It All Hang Out.” The song put A.D.O.R. on the Hip-Hop map and helped earn him a deal with Atlantic Records. But things eventually turned sour, as A.D.O.R. fell victim to the infamous industry rule number 4080. While he went on to release his debut album independently years later, he never reached the level of popularity many felt he would. Now after years of grinding, A.D.O.R. is back with his latest release, Signature Of The Ill (Tru Reign).
While never the flashiest emcee, A.D.O.R. has always been a solid lyricist with a great ear for beats. This is evident once again on Signature Of The Ill, as he. shines on the Diamond D produced “The Realness.” Over D’s dusty, throwback production, A.D.O.R. conjures up the sounds of the past through his energetic and fun loving verse. Diamond D also laces A.D.O.R. with some heat on “Day 2 Day,” which finds A.D.O.R. providing insight on his daily routines. However, it’s on the album’s most heartfelt effort -“Little Ones” – where A.D.O.R. really opens up by paying homage to his children.
Even though A.D.O.R. is able to recapture the sound of the early 90’s perfectly with Signature Of The Ill, here in lies part of the problem. His flow and delivery haven’t progressed over the years and instead are the same as when he first got into the game over 10 years ago. This is seen on the bland concept of “Drugz,” which is rather simple on the lyrical tip. Additionally, the old school feel of the album runs thin on “See The Light” and “Independence Day” due to a weak beats by T-Love and Sir Jase, respectively.
For those who crave the sounds of early 90’s underground Hip-Hop, Signature Of The Ill will be a solid blast back to the past. However, if you are looking for progression lyrically or style wise, you may come away disappointed. Nevertheless, you have to give A.D.O.R. credit for sticking to his guns and staying true to his art form for so many years.