Mic Check: Ryu Black - Perfect 天

I've been a hardcore hip-hop head for decades, so I ain't gonna front about the Ryu Black album Perfect 天 (the kanji symbol has a dual meaning of Ten and Heaven). I know off the top that this album will not be for er'ybody. This is a concept-heavy production that contains a crazy amount of Japanese pop culture references, video game geek-speak, digital sound bites, knuckle-cracking action skits, and lots of other stuff that special peeps like myself can go, well... pretty much BAPE shit over. You see, I've been a hip-hop head for decades, but I've been a connoisseur of J-Pop culture even longer; Godzilla flicks, Robotech 'toons, Gundam models, Capcom arcade games. Yeah, you name it and I've probably geeked out over it. So it can almost go without saying that
Perfect 天 is kinda' like the 'perfect' soundtrack for peeps who love hip-hop as much as that other stuff.

Featuring ill mic skills as well as production by Ryu Black (aka MeccaGodzilla), Perfect 天 showcases the Long Island emcees bi-lingual love affair with hip-hop and the land with the largest number of giant monster footprints. And it's not all J-pop and video games, either. Following ancient hip-hop traditions, Ryu also speaks on heavier subjects, including teen suicide, bullying, stereotypes, divinity, the afterlife, and the blurring of cultural boundaries. Assisting him in this gigantic endeavor are guest artists Masia One, MegaRan, Majesty, Divine Life, Dashah and several others. As a killer finishing move, Ryu also enlisted comic book artist and homeboy Ronald Wimberley (aka D-pi) to provide the album's beautiful 64-bit visuals. Yeah, Perfect 天 is an album for folks who belong to the subculture within a subculture: the hip-hop heads who are also booty shakin' video game junkies, subtitle decipherers, manga fanatics and proto-culture addicts. People just like us. "Yatta!" (Recommended listens: Go-en, Chun-Li, Yama)

St. Paco, kungfugripzine.com

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