Diminishing returns here, in the sense that too much of the same thing and it just doesn’t impress as much any more. The production, flows and lyrics are technically as good or even better than before, but it’s lacking in hooks or variation to keep up the interest.
I think it starts pretty well with Down, strong hook, emotional, memorable… Then we come to track two and it’s that heavy hitting shit talking RTJ track which doesn’t need a chorus cos they’ll just rap they asses off… And so is track 3… And 4… And 5… And 6…The beats all range from good to great but are kinda samey and the hooks are terrible. Danny Brown stops by to do exactly what you’d expect him to do over a beat that wouldn’t sound out of place on one of his albums.
Last third is much better. 2100 switches things up a bit. That opening “How long before our hate leads us to another holocaust…” line woke me up from my nap, good hook from Boots, Mike’s singing and the beat sticks out. Trina stand out here and Kamasi’s horns are cool, they clearly have chemistry with Zach de la Rocha. The best ideas, hooks and guests are loaded towards the back
R.A.P. Music is still their high watermark IMO. Mike was political, emotional, catchy, unrelenting, all over the kind of beats you would rarely hear a rapper with his background on. RTJ was a nice, off the cuff gift and RTJ 2 a catchy and bold victory lap. Despite some bright patches I’m not sure what RTJ 3 brings to the table apart from material for another tour.
6 or 7 out of 10 for me. Listened to it back to back with the Tribe record and the rapping (and production) is just so much more gripping and varied on that than this that they put RTJ to shame.