Esham Preludes New LP by Serving His 8th EP “Amuse-Bouche” (EP Review)

Detroit emcee/producer & Reel Life Productions founder Esham back for his 8th EP ahead of his 24th full-length. Widely acknowledged as the godfather of horrorcore alongside his former Natas cohorts Mastamind &  the late TNT, his run from 1989-2005 (particularly the albums KKKill the FetusClosed Casket & Doubelievengod?) would go on to lay out the groundwork for subsequent horrorcore acts such as the Insane Clown Posse & even Eminem. His output from Sacrificial Lambz onwards (essentially after his 2-album deal with Psychopathic Records from 02-05) has been a little hit or miss even though I love the single “S.S.M.D. (Stop Selling Me Drugs)” & Dichotomy respectively. Psyops however was creative detour for Esham as he self-produced the whole thing for the first time in a while conceptually revolving around what it was like for him living in Minneapolis during the George Floyd protests & a more rap rock inspired sound. But coming fresh off escaping Purgatory last summer, East Side Hoes & Money is looking to serve the appetizer before the main entree on Amuse-Bouche.

The first song “Détroit (De-twah)” is a grimy self-produced trap opener to the EP talking about being stuck in the trap trying to get this cheese & after the first “French Lesson” interlude, “Back 2 Detroit” goes straight up boom bap charismatically telling the story of The Unholy himself. After the “Ahmooz-Boosh” interlude, Stretch Money went from growing up listening to his uncle playing Dead Flowerz & KKKill the Fetus to teaming up with the acid rap inventor himself on the single “Transmission Fluid” with it’s cloudy atmosphere & hi-hats repping 2 different generations of the east side, but then we’re treated to a surprising sequel to the title track of Esham’s first EP Erotic Poetry.

“Death by Snu Snu” named after a quote from one of the best Futurama episodes advising that “they don’t take sex styles back broken” & after another “French Lesson” interlude, “X-Men” featuring Jack Frost & Mastamind gives me a jazzy boom bap vibe instrumentally thanks to Dead Heat nearing the conclusion of the EP by having all 3 MCs explaining that some of y’all out here need to learn how to keep a different hoe & “I.G.S.O.I.D. (I Gotta Stop Or I’ll Die)” officially wraps up Amuse-Bouche talking about drug addiction & having to actually try to break the habit or else he’ll lose his own life.

Keeping in mind that Esham has a whole new LP coming down the pipe at some point in the near future, I completely understand why put banged out 7 new songs & sprinkling only 3 interludes in-between until then. In fact, this EP makes me excited for the new album since it further continues towards the trajectory that Psyops started & Purgatory traveled further down in the sense he’s gradually making better projects again. His production balances old & new sounds, the very few guests are fine represent different generations of motor city & the godfather of the wicked proves he’s still very much a capable storyteller.

Score: 7/10

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Legends Will Never Die

Just a 27 year old guy from Detroit, Michigan who passionately loves hip hop culture & music as a whole

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