The breeze of the Bronx wastelands that brought fresh hands to music making have puffed away into lost main streams. Swallowed by the crows of hoes, culture vultures and biting pigeons, smidgeon by smidgeon the Art is lost. The best of ideas exhaust in the oasis of the root, now a desert where the elements are known, confidently ridiculed and is no longer a rebellious counter to assimilation’s rapture.
So the idea of making Boom Bap records while farther than twenty miles from the holy linoleum of Pelan is a welcome danger. No more A&R’s that archive the real to regurgitate the formulaic from pop trap to underground. Ohio’s Lord Hakim is another mighty brother, who has gained a knowledge of himself, has become expertly acquainted with the sampled drum and rhymed vocal and miles away from the root, brings a reinvigorating rooted music to us. With Born With A Determined Idea, Lord Hakim presents a wax of respect and career possibilities to benefit our aural moments for years.
The direct and overt theme of presenting oneself as a 5 Percenter that will build on wax and entertain is a didactic red pill for the people. Still, he daringly dives into it with an extra articulate flow, limited in dexterity, but filled with charisma and intonation to guide the listener. Upon immediate listen, it is Hakim’s deft beatmaking, with sharp snares, intense bass drums and cryptic musical and vocal hooks that capture.
Lyrically, Hakim is far more diverse to the average viewer than his presentation incurs. The brother isn’t making a holy testament of the Original man being God; instead, he’s a living man with a live truth attempting to get live on the mic with all the stories of his life. Stories put as themes and converted into song topics as “Father 2 Sun” where he bombs his seed with, “That’s the game, this shits sold not told/But I’m ya father, so I’m a tell you how shit go/Watch ya tone , boy you aint tryn ta box wit God…” or the flashback portrait of “Aunt Mildred” reminiscing, “While everybody else was at Aunt Mildred’s crib/Aunties, Uncles, family friends and all of they kids/We Late night buggin, older cousins would peep/Half the block be in the street, playing hide n go seek/In the 80s we was babies, we aint have no cares…,” to the ladies and the odd drama they entice on “Poison Flower” (“So twisted with emotion ain’t notice the bitch is smilin’/It’s almost like she feed off drama & violence…,” the diversity surrounds the building.
Building that is done with great recruits from Dom Pachino of Killarmy layering a build on “Knowledge of Self” with “What’s the science/on my alliance/The God got clients/bubbled in different climates to ward off sirens…” or Planet Asia with distinct cleverness on “Scripturez” barring, “Knowledge respect/reflect/the foundation through The All Eye Seeing/Its Hell on Earth, but my mental’s in the Caribbean/Here’s a bar ta taste/this avatar is 100 percent carbon based…” Bronze Nazareth’s classic midtempo cadence and poetic word paintings compliment Lord Hakim’s simile’d imagery. However, the peak is with Lord Jamar, whose spoken word skits and dynamic verse on “Peace God” set the militant God Cipher Divine tone for the LP. Jamar sounds invigorated with his inflections and intense enunciation flowing through, “Don’t you play with my nation/your duty’s civilization/And there’ll be ramifications behind this education/These rules and regulations must be followed /Administer medication to patients that’s taste’n bad but must be swallowed.”
Having his guests focus on the knowledge works ill with the aforementioned and rarely fails with error except for Vast Aire noting “we the Moorish gods yeah that’s the team.” While there is no such thing as a Moorish God or a muslim God or a Buddhist God, Hakim’s focused understanding saves the track with some of his most rugged bars of “An actual fact it The Sun Of Man show & prove/Fuck sum music I live what you listening to…”
Beatwise, we hear Lord Hakim’s most developed talents. His samples come pure and with vibrance. His soundbites from movies as Short Eyes or The Last Boy Scout are refreshing and great lead ins. The drum work is precisely wild as the cymbal crashes and textured break on “Brass Knucklez,” the thick thuds of “The Beginning of the End (Zig, Zag, Zig)” or the classic break display on “Franklin County Representative.” The music is strong with the fluted flutters filled with cuts on “Scripturez,” the bassline melody that drives “Poison Flower” or the ol’ horned funk of “I Luv U 2 Death.”
The tempos and cadence that Hakim obsesses over is blatantly in the late 80’s with an over enunciation that lets some didacticism in. However, his vocal intensity mixed with his track work is a sum greater than its parts here. With an album as this, proclaiming his reality as God offering essential ideas, we are just starting to hear Hakim really become the uniquely dominant MC he shows himself to often be. For now, Born With A Determined Idea is a pure hardcore product by an MC with challenging lyric ideas, developing techniques and a beatmaking skill that is extremely refined ill. The Pelan winds have become a science of breath in Ohio with Lord Hakim. Now we knowledge his exhaled ideas on wax…