Zeph & Azeem, Rise Up

Amelia Raitt

By Amelia Raitt

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Rise Up

Zeph & Azeem

The importance of getting one producer for an entire hip-hop album can't be denied: think about what Public Enemy, Guru and Rakim might've sounded like without consistent and extended collaborations with the Bomb Squad, Premier and Eric B. That's one of many reasons that Rise Up works so well: with Zeph crafting a varied, yet consistent set of beats for Azeem to unleash his slam-poetry tested flows over, you can hear the comfort each feel with one another. As such, it's no surprise to learn that Azeem wrote these lyrics based on Zeph's beats — no pre-written couplets are needed. Perhaps best here is “Play the Drum,” in which Zeph goes deep into the crate for an accordion-led break stolen from a children's record.