Sure, 1976 Iowa does not really sound like the type of place that would yield underground greatness in the hip-hop scene, but then again, what else would Coolzey have done to pass his time? Though nobody really knows, luckily, nobody really has to. The Honey at a glance seems like another good’ole fashioned ten song hip-hop album. Upon further inspection, it becomes quite clear that there is a little bit more going on.
Starting with “Little By Little,” Coolzey shows that he is funny, quirky and knows his history. Unfortunately, when the slow, slightly ominous trumpet loop ends and he gets into the title track, the first verse is somewhat underwhelming with numbingly simple rhyme-schemes (air, there, stare, care, lair, etc.). This is not to say that he isn’t a good MC but rather, the level of ease and intricacy with which he rhymes slightly shifts on a song-by-song basis. There is also a very unfortunate hiccup in “Look” at the two minute, fifty-one second mark where the beat comes in later than it should. The Honey does offer some pleasant surprises to the listener though. Coolzey finds himself singing on a few of the tracks and it actually works fantastically. As far as guest spots, Copywrite, Raashan Ahmad (from Crown City Rockers), William Elliot Whitmore, Schaffer the Darklord and even the legendary Sadat X contribute. As probably anticipated, X has the most interesting guest verse. While Coolzey talks about flogging the dolphin on “Tour Song Too,” Sadat casually drops some bars analyzing Cher… post fuck (obviously believing in life after love very, very much). The Honey may not be perfect, but it does have its moments. Hopefully next time around, Coolzey will be able to distill his successes and create something more consistent.