In A Race Against Time (Palu Records)
By: David Patsko
As any fan of hip-hop feels, local hip-hop artists that get record contracts immediately win a special place in our heart for making it into the industry--at all--and getting themselves a career opportunity. Even if the artist isn't the most talented in the game, he/she/they will still get a listen and grab attention since they have ties to home. There's always a special place for underground artists and we try to support them as much as possible and hope nothing but the best for them at all times, but we know that they face tremendous odds and have many strikes against them just because they are rookies in the game and have to follow bigger name acts in the quest to find their own personal identity and fan following. I must apologize for this wordy introduction but I'm from Cleveland and any new artist coming out of Cleveland is usually compared to Bone Thugs~n~Harmony and the various members of Mo Thugs Records. I guess the best analogy I could use for Gold is to say that he like in baseball, he's in the "on-deck" circle to further showcase the talent Cleveland has to offer.
In A Race Against Time starts out with high hopes, the first two songs feature Bone Thugs~n~Harmony members Layzie Bone and Bizzy Bone. However, I see that as a bad idea; on your own CD you want to showcase your talents first and then have guest artists come later on in the disc. At any rate, the first track, "Free Your Mind", is a collaboration with Gold starting the microphone attack by painting a bleak picture of the world he sees daily and the pleas "we all gon' die, so let me live my life, please" and "it's my life, not your life, so let mines be." The other guest artists on "Free Your Mind", Layzie Bone, Scant (a Bizzy Bone clone in his own right), Maniski, Quaz and Tee, then take turns showering us with fast-paced verbals about smoking reefer to free their minds, thus taking them to a higher plateau where they ponder how to change their lives for the better. As customary in all collaborations with a Bone Thugs member, Layzie Bone sets the track off with one of the 5 voices Bone fans have come to have ingrained in their memory. Slowing down the pace just a bit, Layzie's verse reminds all who made it possible for Cleveland to be at this point in the rap game where Cleveland artists, heretofore overlooked, are now joyously welcomed.. "Battle Cry", the best song on the CD in my opinion, begins with Gold repeating: "I cock back my glock, drop down in the bushes but the shit don't stop", while Bizzy Bone mumbles something incomprehensible in the background. Once this tirade ends, Bizzy Bone then goes into a chant of "these are my battle cries". Finally, the beat sets and Gold comes in for a verse where he reminds all his friends and foes that although he is heavily influenced by the demons the reside inside a bottle of Hennesey, he is also armed and dangerous and ready for guerrilla warfare. Bizzy Bone then steals the show with an energetic assault of fiery lyrics accompanied by his patented vocal cadence. His references to having worked with some of the biggest names in the industry spotlight the fact that Bizzy has emerged as the Bone member most desired to work with. Guest artists Cody and Maniski also add hyped up verses to wrap up an energetic song that will most definitely have you ready to beat down your best friend just to release the pent up energy.
My only real quip about In A Race Against Time is the fact that Gold rarely does a track on his own. But you can feel his energy and hunger on tracks "Everyday", "Murder Makes A House Call", "Shake The Spot" and "Attack Formation." Another track to look out for is the Radio Mix to "Come Inside." Featuring guest artists Melo Madnezz, Scant and Poetic Hustla Boogie Nikke, "Come Inside" is another ode to human sexuality and how rewarding a promiscuous lifestyle can truly be. Boogie Nikke and Scant help accent Gold the best and the track, laden with bongos and a heavy bassline, will be sure to be heard at a house party near you.
When Gold puts his energy and concentration into his work, he really is a fantastic lyricist; however, I feel as if times Gold gets lazy and talks about and says everything every other artist does. He is also outshined by guest artists Layzie Bone, Bizzy Bone, Boogie Nikke, and at times, Scant. Nevertheless, Gold has worked hard to get his recording contract and by the sounds of it, he aims to please. Indeed, Gold is in the "on-deck" circle in competition for listeners and fans that have come to love Bone Thugs~n~Harmony and I predict that In A Race Against Time will be a solid base hit to left.