For most, telling a lie is always easier than keeping it 100. The truth hurts while perjuring it usually offer false senses of security. At least until secondary lies are needed to reinforce the original fabrication. Wires are crossed, details are confused and at the end of the day those false senses of security only leave real scars of self-inflicted pain. The same logic is applied to Hip-Hop. Everyone promises to tell the truth and everyone claims their story is more authentic than the next man’s. Central Pennsylvania’s own – York, to be exact – Phene is no exception.
Naming his mixtape Leap Of Faith may go down as one of my personal favorite titles of 2010. Why? Because it describes what happens each time a relatively unknown artist crosses your modem. Worst case scenario, they’re the next coming of B. Pumper. Best case, they’re Freddie Gibbs. And if they’re in the middle, you’ve still found an artist to look out for in the future. A win-win for everybody.
Before listening, I was familiar with Phene – from the Boondocks tape months back – but had yet to hear a full length project. Seeing the co-sign of Dub Floyd and Wally Sparks at least calmed some nerves. They don’t endorse bullsh!t, and this was no different. Garnering spins all weekend, Phene is the next rapper to embed his life on wax. Shootouts aren’t the norm. Neither are peddling drugs to the fiends in his city. It’s keeping a scope on reality and making sure his child has three hot meals a day, no questions asked. Leap Of Faith is just that – the never ending quest make a name in an industry which has seen more causalities than success stories.
I like his flow. It’s powerful, yet sounds at home with the majority of relaxing and soulful instrumentals the tape encompasses. My favorite kind of tapes are one I can put in my car and ride out to, not skipping a track. I found myself doing that with Phene’s tape. Good rhymes matched with even better sequencing take this from a good listening to one that will command more attention than the average fly-by-night tape.
All in all, it equates to scrumptious appetizer for his official solo project God On A Greyhound set to leave the station in October. The funny thing is, if you’ve ever taken any type of bus then you know how appropriately titled it is. Each person aboard has a different life story and a relationship with God which varies from personal to nonexistent. Take this Leap Of Faith and let it serve as your bus ticket.