Artist: Planet AsiaTitle: The MedicineRating: 3 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Dr. Zero
Planet Asia should be an emcee that every fan of indie or West Coast Hip-Hop should know or have at least heard about. The Source Magazine (before the issues) gave Planet Asia Independent Album of the Year credit in 2000 for his How the West Was One. At that time, he was partnered with Rasco as The Cali Agents. Since then he released The Grand Opening and has collaborated with some of the art's best emcees including Talib Kweli, Ghostface Killah and Black Thought. After touring and founding his Gold Chain Music label with Walt Liquor, the Fresno emcee is back with The Medicine (ABB), the last of a three part series after The Sickness and The Diagnosis.
The Medicine is a unique listening experience that showcases excellent overall diversity. Planet Asia made sure to include a little bit of everything conceptually on this effort. Although "Thick Ropes" dealt with partying, it differs from most party tracks because it adds a rap hook instead of the anticipated harmonious chorus and is missing a famous R&B singer on the hook. "In Love" featuring Jonell is the Rap/R&B collaboration that covers the stages of a relationship. "Stick & Move" featuring Prodigy of Mobb Deep is the gritty hardcore song. Every song features dope lyrics; a characteristic that most have come to expect from Planet Asia and especially on "Over Your Head" featuring Black Thought and "Medicine."
Musically the album does not disappoint. Each song has its own exclusive sound. Nothing sounds similar. Fans that enjoy versatility in music will love what Evidence did on the boards. "On My Way 93706" will take some listeners back to the 1980s because of the simplistic rhythm used and heavy drums. "That's On Me" was made for listeners that loved G-Funk music because it featurs the typical slow, melodic, upbeat soul sample. Despite "Stick & Move" and "Thick Ropes" being musically healthy though, not fitting the overall theme of the album, The Medicine is a remedy for fans seeking a cure from the wack emcee doldrums.