Critical Opinion are made up of two best friends – Ardin (AKA DIZZ-E) is from the UK, and Peter (AKA Base – P) is from the US. Both highly educated doctors – Peter is a Medical Doctor and Ardin is a criminal Psychologist – they met in the Czech Republic back in 2010, when they were teaching at the same high school. Coming from tough backgrounds, where they lost many friends and family members along the way, they managed to make it out. Now working hard to accomplish Rap music has helped both of them to stay positive and motivated. Currently still living in the Czech Republic, where they continue to teach, Critical Opinion have dropped their album “Blocks”, which is the first in a series of 5 they have planned. Ardin and Peter also have their own record label called, Phat Track Records, and video production company called, Kool Kats Production.
Straight of the bat, this duo has a consistency in their music that’s rather inspiring. “Blocks” comprises 12 songs with a variety of sound, rhythm and melody. For their beats BASE-P and DIZZ-E rely on producer Valentine Beats and good friend, Simon Kang, who mixes and masters their material.
The beats on this album are so well laid out, and they only get better after each listen. They hook you hard and don’t let go until the songs are over. The beats match the mood and theme of each song very well, proving that they aren’t there just to give Critical Opinion something to rhyme over, but they are good enough to stand on their own.
Add in the in-depth rhymes, the acute wordplay and the smooth flows that Critical Opinion deliver, and you have an explosive combination that runs from track one to the very end of the recording. In fact you’ll be so overpowered by the constant pull of the album, that you’ll be left with only two listening options for “Blocks” – play it loud, and play it often.
From when the album opens with the mellifluous “Not Gone Forever”, BASE-P and DIZZ-E prove their ability to create music that endures without ever compromising their vision, elevating their skills without ever chasing trends. In an ideal world, they could flourish indefinitely.
On “Hustlin”, the duo turn up the urgent ruggedness in their toolkit, without losing the melodic edge which is served in the hooks. “Ain’t No Sunshine” leans on its anthemic groove while lyrically Critical Opinion roll out a set of conscious rhymes. This leads us to the title track, “Blocks”, which is built on a rich and thickly layered orchestration.
This might be some of the best rapping you’ll hear all year, at least in the old-school style. The chemistry between BASE-P and DIZZ-E is insane, and the production is killer. “Perfect” increases the booty-shaking quota of the album with a warm tropical bounce.
“Warning” takes Critical Opinion back to the lyrical grindstone, with an incessant rhyme-scheme riding the hard-hitting beat which has a subtle eastern flavor. By now it’s fairly clear that Critical Opinion is a hip-hop group who are definitely much better than the majority of hip-hop crews that have been spoon fed to the masses like so much fodder over the last few years.
Compared to much of the future-oriented lyrics and beats of artists that have been releasing records recently, BASE-P and DIZZ-E sound like they come from a legendary category. You only have to listen to the album’s centerpieces and standouts, like “Realest”, “Respect” and “Crooked Cops” to hear the vintage quality in creating lyrical jams that are simultaneously effortless and complex.
Unlike many of their contemporaries, or so-called peers, Critical Opinion have a level of substance that can rival Rap artists from any genre and style. And on this album, the duo does a great job of delivering stellar beats and rhythms, while bolstering their songwriting with creative concept songs, such as “No Limits”, “Pay Homage” and “Power”.
Rap and Hip-hop is in an animated state at the moment, with mainstream misfires, and once dependable artists who seem to have lost their edge, substance, and confidence as of late. This makes the album, “Blocks”, and the duo, Critical Opinion, stand out even more in the current urban scenario. BASE-P and DIZZ-E have been steadily laying out their path — always honing their sound, always evolving their style, and, most importantly, always having fun doing it.
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