Gangrene’s 4th LP “Heads I Win, Tails You Lose” is Their Darkest & Most Cryptic (Album Review)

Gangrene is a West Coast emcee/production duo consisting of The Alchemist & Oh No. Both of whom have already made a name for themselves by producing for other established hip hop artists both in the mainstream & in the underground, particularly Uncle Al. However, they’ve put out a total of 3 full-length albums & a couple EPs together over the past 15 years. Nearly a decade after the Mass Appeal Records-backed You Disgust Me though, they’re finally reuniting for a long-awaited 4th LP.

“Congratulations, You Lose” is a grimy opener produced by Oh No talking about how no animal is safe here whereas “Dinosaur Jr.” finds The Alchemist stripping the drums completely likening themselves as big Tyrannosaurus Rexes prehistoric flexing. The album’s only single “Oxnard Water Torture” ruggedly discusses the gang’s return & that it ain’t the same drip, but then “The Gates of Hell” featuring LORDY formerly known as ANKHLEJOHN works in these heavy pianos talking about exposing all these sorry muthafuckas out here.

Moving on from there, “Cloud Surfing” incorporates some woodwinds comparing themselves as the Wright brothers of hip hop leading into “Espionage” following the “Free Money” interlude continues the drumless vibes boasting that their flavors are sorted individually & their rings are like Christmas tree ornaments. “Magic Dust” featuring Evidence throws these ominous chords into the picture talking about doing the dirty work & that this the way you could take theirs just before the synth-driven “Watch Out” continues to get in their hardcore bag lyrically.

“Just Doing Art” featuring Boldy James strips the drums once more defending themselves of they smear your blood & body on their canvases while the song “You Should Join the Army” hops over victorious horns asking who the fuck want what. “Royal Hand” from Flying High 2 makes it’s way here as the penultimate track & finally, the blaring yet luxurious “Muffler Lung” concludes Gangrene’s first offering in 9 years with both of them talking about them categorizing the way they spit as classical.

When you think about the gap between this new LP & the last one they did, it’ll seem like Gangrene came back as if they never took a break in the beginning. The predominantly hardcore stylings of You Disgust Me with additional elements of jazz rap & abstract lyricism make their way onto this new LP except they throw a hint of drumless in the sound too. Another worthy detail in regards to Heads I Win, Tails You Lose is that it’s noticeably more darker & cryptic than much of Gangrene’s previous material.

Score: 8/10

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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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