Artist: SubCon (Sub-Conscious)Title: SubTalkRating: 3 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Henry Adaso

Let’s face it…it’s almost impossible for any artist who defies mainstream values to be accepted by the wider Hip-Hop audience (i.e. Little Brother). But New Yorker Sub-Conscious could care less about the mainstream audience. As SubCon’s sophomore album proves, his music is structured to speak to a specific audience in a specific language known as SubTalk (Eastern Conference).

SubCon jumpstarts his musical journey with the semi-autobiographical “Who Am I.” Relying on his conversational-style flow and unspoken humor, SubCon draws his listener into the hearts music, even unveiling the words to his first rap. His free-flowing rhyme structure is more evident on the poignant title track. Sub’s longtime friend DJ Eli whips up a thematic sonic that drives the track and adds replay value to it. And, when Sub said he’d “whisper a verse and keep attention like a screaming ambulance”, he lied. This former Bragging Writes champ has a brash delivery, and his flow is endearing and more ear-grabbing than a siren.

However, for every two replayable tracks, there’s a bland adventure that begs to be skipped immediately. Like the Breezly Brewin (of the Juggaknots) – featured “Bazerkowitz”, where Eli’s uninspiring production has only an insipid hook to rival for mediocrity. Thankfully, Sub revs the album forward by retreating into ol’school-steez on the electrifying “Is It Live.” The song relies on snappy kicks and urgent keys to produce a tune that will surely have heads nodding. Yet, another detour into bland production gives rise to the yawn-inducing “Ape Shit.”

Sub puts things back in perspective on the blissful “Gaintaining” reminding us of the essence of Hip-Hop: heartfelt beats and gut-wrenching rhymes. With an identity that’s all his, and a style that oozes unheralded lyricism, SubCon has crafted an album that’s sure to leave an indelible impression in the minds of true-school Hip-Hop fans.