ALBUM REVIEW: THE PRICE IZ RIGHT – SPOT x DJ DRAMA

SPOT
The Price Iz Right
Grand Hustle/Rubicon
*****
(5 out of 5)

SPOT has been a highly underrated artist for many years. He has two official mix-tapes (The Good Son, A Dollar & A Dream) and one unofficial street album (A Breath Away) all of which pre-date his latest all original effort The Price Iz Right.

Prior to linking up with DJ Drama for The Price Iz Right SPOT’s collabratuers have included Gucci Mane, Lil Kim, Shawn Pen and R. Kelly. SPOT is also the nephew of embattled Music Mogul and current federal inmate James Rosemond (a.k.a. “Jimmy Henchmen.”) SPOT is of Guyanese and Jamaican descent, he was raised in (Brooklyn) New York and moved to Atlanta in approximately 2005.

As far as sound quality on The Price Iz Right you couldn’t ask for more. The mix and master on these records is as good as I’ve heard in the digital era. It matches if not supersedes any and everything out on the radio from a sonic perspective.

SPOT has always been a special case. It was 2005 when The Good Son delivered us this classic punchline:

your fantasy rhymes, talking ’bout Fed Time when you’re still moving nicks (Knicks) like Isaiah at the deadline.”
SPOT The Throne (King Day Ent. circa 2005.)

Isaiah Thomas was (at that time) the GM of The New York Knicks. He was doing a horrible job and was shipping players in and out in what rapidly became a desperate/ongoing attempt to save his job. If that was six years ago, where would SPOT go now?

Not to be outdone (even by his past self) SPOT wastes no time getting to the money on The Price Iz Right’s title track Respect A Check (prod. by Metro.) The tone of Respect A Check starts appropriately aggressive.

Some of my favorite lyrics from The Price Iz Right include (but are not limited to)

Jimmy told me be a boss you gotta play your role…” – SPOT Respect A Check.

“conspiracy charge in my stash box…keep my room in my Auntie house padlocked…”

– Forget if you’ve hustled drugs. Anyone who has ever had anything to hide can identify with this line. I can personally identify because I had a room in my “Auntie’s” house on Long Island when I first moved to New York in 2004. Did I keep it padlocked? No, I did not but I can totally identify with SPOT’s paranoia.

Speez Auntie allowing him to keep a padlock on a room in her house reminded me of a cultural expression as well.  Indeed; I spent two years living in Brooklyn off Flatbush and East 23rd street (after being expelled from SUNY Purchase) and I personally witnessed a certain sort of support that periodically included some plausible deniability by many West Indian women (be they girlfriends, mother’s or aunts) in support of my West Indian homeboys and myself. In my opinion this reference is as subtle as it is telling.  Auntie’s show love. **PAY ATTENTION**

Perhaps my favorite record on The Price Iz Right is “For My Dogs.” A street-ballad written (I presume) to/for SPOT’s fallen (or perhaps jailed) homies produced By Best Kept Secret.

hit the strip club throw a couple hundred, crackin’ jokes over dinner out in London, drivin’ to the airport gettin’ blunted, we done done everything that we wanted.” – SPOT (For My Dogs)

chasin millions by the several with our pedal to the metal but we never thought to slow down…

…would you still be straight if you took another way I say we’ll never know now…” – SPOT (For My Dogs)

runnin’ through bitches like a n*gga I know, puttin’ on like the n*ggaz I know” – SPOT (For My Dogs)

– This line actually moved me to tear the other night. Though it doesn’t necessarily allude to anything specific it is the ambient vagueness that allowed me to empathize and apply it to the people I’ve known who are no longer around. This was perhaps the most compelling moment on the Album for me.

I wonder if Heaven got a place, for somebody had to stay up late, makin’ dolla after dolla, after dolla, after dolla after Dolla, after Dolla makin’ sure we straight” – SPOT (For My Dogs)

– This lyric is a very crafty tribute to SPOT’s friend Shine Dolla who was brutally murdered on the west side of Manhattan last year. Of course anyone not privy to that situation would only assume SPOT was referring to making dollar after dollar. He is but he’s also referring to making dollar after dollar after Dolla (Shine Dolla was murdered.) A telling testament to the pain and confusion SPOT must have dealt with (and may still be dealing with) after Shine Dolla’s murder. Wondering if Heaven has a place and speculating about the prospect of the afterlife are questions whose depth are outdone only by their validity.

The Price Iz Right is by far the most advanced project SPOT has ever released. It covers everything it has to from publicity (DJ Drama), features (Jose Guapo, Sonny Digital, Troy Ave and Koke) to production (Lex Luger and Droop-E.) Everything on The Price Iz Right is there for a reason. I personally will state that The Price Iz Right contains (at least) three classic records: For My Dogs, Celebration and Respect A Check.

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