Chino XL is a 49 year old MC from East Orange, New Jersey who broke out in the mid-90s after signing to American Recordings & releasing the classic full-length debut Here to Save You All. He eventually went on to beef with 2Pac & I genuinely feel sorry for anyone who writes him off to this day because of that. Especially since that I Told You So, Poison Pen & the Viper Records-backed RICANstruction: The Black Rosary all contain some of the best songs in his whole discography. However when Boston producer Stu Bangas was brought in to produce Chino’s 5th full-length album & putting it out through Brutal Music, my anticipation for God’s Carpenter was VERY high.
The title track is a grimy boom bap opener about being in the dark with only his pen & pad asking God to not let him die tonight whereas the next cut “AMBImonsterous” gives off a more tensioning approach instrumentally continuing to rock the mic. “Who Told You” blends some morbid synth melodies with kicks & snares vividly describing those filled with hatred until “Mir8cles Opposite” aggressively goes into detail talking about the apocalypse.
“Murder Rhyme Kill” featuring Vinnie Paz couldn’t have been a perfect choice for a single from the frightening boom bap beat the murderous lyricism just before “Remind You” has a more serious attitude fusing pianos with more kicks & snares talking about how unfair it is that he has to hide his face & the scars that was left by this individual won’t go away. “Don’t Care” is an organ-boom bap hybrid declaring the only way to stop him is death, but then “D.X.P.S. (Double X Posse Shit)” pays homage to one of his favorite crews around his neck of the woods.
Meanwhile, “Art Apothecary” starts the last leg of the album with a horror-inspired boom bap instrumental pleading to be saved while the song “Sinister” immaculately lives up to it’s name by hopping on top of a dusty yet amping instrumental talking about being monstrous. The penultimate track “Scribbled Sorcery” has a more atmospheric vibe with kicks & snares of course dropping battle bars prior to “Night Drive” sending off God’s Carpenter by wickedly describes another typical evening for him.
It’s been over a decade since we’ve heard from Chino in a full-length capacity & I gotta say: God’s Carpenter is a near-perfect comeback & already one of the strongest offerings in his catalog. He’s focused, hasn’t lost a step with the pen whatsoever & Stu Bangas’ production is consistently raw top to bottom which is noteworthy considering that a few beats on both Poison Pen & RICANstruction were lacking.