Mic Geronimo: Alive

Queens’ MC Mic Geronimo earned respect as a Hip-Hop lyricist for his 1995 LP, The Natural. A gem worth mining, it spawned the hit singles “Sh*t’s Real” and the moody masterpiece “Masta I.C.,” and the album is revered in Hip-Hop as a street-certified classic. More albums followed (1996’s Vendetta and 2003’s The Long Road Back) but none of Mic G’s past releases have since been able to hold as much attention as his critically-acclaimed debut. Back in 2007 with Alive (Major Key/Koch), Mic Geronimo remains lyrically gifted but this album suffers due to mismatched production and repetitive subject matter. Gems on the album include the introspective “Harm’s Way”, “Shot” and “The City,” where Mic shines best as a cautionary storyteller. Lyrically he is still adept but the album suffers from trying to sound like today’s mainstream Hip-Hop. Weak attempts at making club-friendly singles (“All Good”) as well as overhyped street stories (“Robbery 101” and “Click Clap”) that sound predictable and dated hurt an otherwise refreshing release. Also, Mic’s nasal flow is better suited rhyming over the soulful “What Makes You Think” or the fast-paced “My City” (featuring Blade Brown).Although there can never be another “Masta I.C.,” Mic G’s saving grace is his past reputation as a lyricist. Add that to the moodier, jazzy production reminiscent of the late 90s that compliments Geronimo’s style and there you have a winning combination. While history can’t repeat itself, golden-era all-stars like Mic should continue to set trends (as they did in the 90s), not follow them. Until then Mic G is still alive but this album needs life support.SOUNDCHECK:Mic Geronimo "Shot"Mic Geronimo "Harms Way"