There are moments when music is just so great! Slaughterhouse released a mix tape and then an album that went a long way to remind fans that lyrics actually do exist. With the help of Eminem they worked hard to show you lyrics could exist while still making a few radio friendly joints. In my opinion they succeeded, but they’re not the only super group in the rap game. And with a team just as lyrically capable, the Horseshoe Gang plans to make their own mark in mainstream music with their new EP “#TrueStory.”

Production: 8.5

The production for this group has taken a huge turn. If you were used to hearing hard core beats. The kind that fit perfectly with their rabid lyrics, you may be surprised by what you hear. The production definitely isn’t bad. Just not what we’re used to from this group, they have definitely be influenced by the multi instrument and electronic wave that has hit most main stream artist today. Don’t panic, there are still many hard core and gritty beats left to appease the old school fan. But the production is definitely mainstream friendly. One of the things you could have said about this group before was that they didn’t have a radio sound. That is no longer the case.

Lyrics: 9.0

Production may have gone a little pop, but the lyrics have done no such thing. When you’re discussing groups that are over flowing with talent lyrically only two should be mentioned. Slaughterhouse, and Horseshoe Gang, and depending on who you’re talking to, the Gang should be mentioned before the Slaughter crew. Punch lines are always easy to make. Just ask any battle rapper who never got past the battle circuit. But the true art of rapping is the ability to combine lyrics with, delivery, wordplay, pacing, flow, punch lines, metaphors, and mic presence into a perfect cocktail. Some artists have mastered the skill, while others are still struggling to hone those skills. Very few have an above average skill level in every single one of these individual skills, these four have got it!

Songs: 8

This is really the only part of this project that you can call a little attention to for weakness. The songs are great, but along with a few mainstream styled beats, a few of the songs on the album are also leaning in that direction. Listening to this album is like witnessing a push and pull that many artists go through. No matter what they stick close to their amazing lyrical skills, but there is a clear attempt to add a little more depth into this album, and within that comes the opportunity to try new things. “Sun glasses and Advil” is a perfect example of this. A good song and with someone used to this kind of sound would probably be a club banger. But with this group it just seems completely out of place. “She Said” feat K-Young is another example of a song that will probably go over very well on the radio, but if you have been a fan for a while you may feel just as weird hearing this coming from the Gang as I did.

Conclusion: 8.5

Overall this is a very solid album. It passes the entire test for a well put together project. It flows, there is actual content in the music, and the lyrics as always are superb. A few fans may be turned off because of what seems like a bit of a change of direction. But if you really love this group, you will appreciate them taking a chance and trying to reach out to a new group of listeners. When it’s all said and done and you have finished the last song, you still would have just experienced great music from great artist.

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Purchase: Horseshoe Gang – #TrueStory EP on  iTunes or Amazon