Poison Pen: Pick Your Poison—The Mark Of The East

To anyone outside of New York City, his name probably sounds like a cliché. However, those in Brooklyn know exactly who he is, Poison Pen. On this unofficial debut solo album/mixtape, Pick Your Poison: The Mark of the East, Poison gets another opportunity to introduce the world to the stylistics of Brooklyn Hip-Hop. The recent extreme-exposure of mentor and friend, Immortal Technique, is obviously inspiring. But you will not find the rough and rugged attitude emblazoned in Immortal Tech’s music, on any Poison track. Instead, the former host of the popular lyricist competition, Da Cypha Emcee Battles, is a lighthearted street prophet (maybe you already noticed that from the album cover). The intro, “Brooklyn Board of Tourism,” is a plea for people to return to the streets of Brooklyn. Poison celebrates his hometown’s diversity and statistically analyzes the city’s crime rate. He’s a real smart dude. The rest of the album plays on the same lines, and rarely ventures from the “hometown shout-out” theme. “Who Are You?” cleverly uses a classic rock song by The Who as a foreground of re-introducing himself. Ras Kass chides in on “Bedstuy Best Buy,” while “Foul Play” is a nostalgic remix of the 1980’s hit single “Total Eclipse Of The Heart” by Bonnie Tyler.The climax of the album is most definitely “Emveez In Here.” Not only are the lyrics on point [“You’s a gangsta/I’m a non-believe’a/There’s more to hustlin’ than reading Don Diva.”], the beat is “hypnotic” also. The signature sound takes it back to Poison’s days with indie rap clique Stronghold with Breez Evaflowin’, C-Rayz Walz, Immortal Technique, and DJ Static. As Immortal Tech and Static make their appearances on the album, the only question is, Where the hell are Breez and C-Rayz? Oh well.Mad props to BK for giving Poison such inspiration. Though Pick Your Poison should have heads checking for his official debut album, The Money Shot, Poison Pen’s already scored.