7L & Esoteric – “Dangerous Connection” review

Released a year after their solid debut album, Boston underground hip hop duo 7L & Esoteric really step their game up with their sophomore album. Not only is it shorter, but both the production (mostly handled by 7L, who only produced 6 tracks on their previous album) and the rhymes on here are more consistent & hard hitting than their previous effort. The opening track One Six is just a short snippet of what to expect on here. On the track Watch Me, Eso lays down his typical battle rhymes over a beautiful Alan Parker sample. On Terrorist Cell (which could very well be the most controversial track on the album), Eso vividly storytells from the point of view of a 9/11 hijacker over a haunting beat from none other than Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind (the producer of Jedi Mind Tricks). On Word Association (which I personally think is the best track on the whole album), Eso rhymes from the perspectives of a mental patient and a psychiatrist in a hilarious way. And while I do admire the jazzy beat on the track Stalker, the lyrical content on here (which revolves around…well…stalking) makes me feel a little uncomfortable. On Speak Now, we hear Eso (along with fellow AotP members Vinnie Paz & Apathy) talk about how hardcore they are & the guitar sample on here fits the vibe. On Rules of Engagement, Eso discusses the state of hip hop (at the time) with the help of J-Live & Count Bass D over a DJ Premier-ish beat. The track Herb is self-explanatory, because we basically hear Eso dissing all the “herbs” throughout the whole song. The album finishes with the appropriately titled “The Way Out”, which features a hard hitting vocal delivery over some triumphant horns. Also, “Fuck battlin’ cats, I’m Jim Abbottin’ cats. Which means single-handedly, I’m embarassin’ cats” is easily one of the best lines (if not THE best line) on the whole album. Definitely don’t sleep on this. These guys have the chemistry of Guru & Premier’s and they really show it by providing a raw/unfiltered underground classic

Score: 4.5/5


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