Arizona collective of artist with different artistic expressions called Gladiator Pen drops a 17 track LP titled “Roman Numeralz” I was impressed with the intention of these emcees as they donate all proceeds to the literacy of the next generation we need more movements like this one. The cover was intense I can tell these emcees was coming for heads as the introduction begin with with a raw Dj mix to transition the 1st song “Remember The Name” featuring Blaze Rock, Mister Riot, ciphurphurce and DJ Les which makes you do just that with that rawness captured and bottled up and amplified by singer song tress Miss Rebecca leaving her mark and essence on this track along with the masterful dj scratches. This collective reminds me sonically even of the legendary wu-tang which is high praise.
“Very Afraid ” is a dark track showing the versatility lyrical of Blaze Rock & Floyd Write these two tailor a Hip-Hop banger in underground standards we would love to see a video to this audio. This track is like the warning to other rappers and collectives who want drama with the team. “Its The Gladiators” featuring Blaze Rock, Floyd Write, Phal Kilmer ,Mister Riot & DJ Psychopat comes on with a funky rhythmic piano and undeniable bass giving it a west coast G-funk vibe . The Gladiator Pen collective seems to specialize in lyrics and poetry style boombap and the different Djs add a mix perspective to the each cut.
“Shot Gun” featuring Mister Riot, Phal Kilmer, Hellamic, & Marques Elliot had a slick Rick and Wu vibe mixed together I even liked the fast rap style and classic Hip-Hop reference from “Common” I used to love her. “Blind Man” featuring Puritan, Ohm, Simple Wisdom & Dj Les came in with a killer production as the 1st artist absolutely murdered this track leaving it beat and battered for his partners then the other artist matched word for word with their own unique styles making this truly a Hip-Hop gem.
“Gladiator Regime” featuring Mister Riot, Blaze rock, Judgement, Floyd Write, Puritan, Medaforcale, Ciphurphace & Dj J20 was fire from jump giving me a Masta ace & Tech nine vibe. Homage to the legend as his rhyme scheme has always been killer fast & precise. Each artist came with a fast on top of the beat approach as they make poetry from this cut keep going the hits alive. “Simply” was an oldie but goodie sample which allowed a mellowed contemplation atmosphere for Blaze Rock & Talk- Sik. “Keep it moving” featuring Talk-Sik, Floyd Write, Phal Kilmer & DJ Pervee is one of those tracks that take you back to the early 2000s when we had tracks like “Drive Slow” by Kanye West. What I love about Gladiator Pen collective is they come from so many angles artistically with their rhyme schemes and personas of each artist.
“Answer The Bell” featuring Ohm & Mister riot as Dj Blessed 1 held down the 1s & 2s was a love story of Hip-Hop as they explain why they fell in love with the infectious game in the 1st place. We are winding down as the album is on its b side (Not literal) we reach “The Watch” featuring Purtian, Mister Riot & Ciphurhace has a creepy halloween vibe I can see this showcasing in the time the viel is lifting. The production is the under lining tone as it gives the artist the foundation to rhyming and the down notes keep the creepy dark vibe alive. Keep up with the Gladiator Pen collective new music and news on Twitter & Band camp.
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