The Life And Times Of Peter Nelson
Spit and polish. The aphorism that best defines this triumphant return from an MC that probably swam through more shit than Andy Dufresne. OK, Copywrite didn’t do himself any favors with his pill-fueled decision-making and catching bad ones from Camu Tao (R.I.P.) and Icon The Mic King (Copy addresses both of these street rumbles). But all of that gossip and hearsay is immaterial when considering this second release from an artist who’s debut dropped in 2002. Jay-Z had him on his radar and we know what happened to Eastern Conference, Rawkus, Def Jux and the like. We know for sure Camu and Copy were good friends and had a falling out. That shit happens. For those who haven’t followed the Columbus, OH. native’s career closely, this memoir-styled 20-tracker should bring you up to speed. Here is a page-turning novel with producers and features that will have listeners sticking to the plot, rather than losing it.
Copy offers an abundance of honesty without sacrificing the clever wordplay and punchlines that have become his pitch-perfect signature. The epic lamentation “Wish You Were Here” (Copy’s great-grandfather was Skip Nelson-nee Scipione Mirabella- a frequent contributor to the Glenn Miller Band and was forced to change his surname to get gigs) serves notice to the emergence of an artist that tackles his demons head on. Much is the same on the dirge, “Forever And A Day,” over a stunning composition by fellow Ohioan RJD2. This is an album replete with eloquent emotion and unapologetic rage.
“Bored,” is biting satire of the Internet subterfuge; DJ Rhettmatic does the honors there, unquestionable brilliance. “3 Story Building” featuring Dilated Peoples & MF Grimm is something of a showpiece. Ditto for “Trooper” featuring Sean Price produced by Illmind. “Best In Show” featuring Planet Asia and “Crooked Cop” featuring Crooked I also suggest you get your Itunes plays up on this labor of tainted love.
Relative unknown Twiz The Beat Pro is well-deserving of some come-up on the strength of his handiwork here. Khrysis, Illmind, RJD2, Rhettmatic and the rest further stamp this album with surpassing production. Here is a case where the lyrical malevolence and grisly beat-work measure equally. The only real misplacement is “Shotgun,” which would work if not for the corny indie-whining component.
Much like the MC’s personality, this album is irreverent and in your face, demanding focus on the intricacies of the rhyme patterns and stories being told. It is rare to find such a lengthy album that doesn’t run out of steam. Often hip-hop is immature and recklessly bold and liberation after swimming through a river of shit might offer an artist such a soapbox. But the redemption herein, Shawshank or otherwise, is offered humbly with just the slightest hint of the hustler’s smirk. So go ahead and grab your Charles Dickens, Pete Mirabella, your place in rap history seems secure.
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