[Album Review] Purpose & Confidence – “The Purpose Of Confidence” – #### Review
For all the nostalgia about 1990s hip-hop and the boom-bap sound, those who often try to recreate, or pay tribute to, it often fall short. Many do not seem to remember that by 1995 most hip-hop being given a spotlight did nothing to build the culture, and the amount of dreck that was out there didn’t follow the boom-bap formula any longer. It’s really the early-90s that one must seek out for the true sound of classic hip-hop. A few years ago, Buckwild unearthed a lost treasure-trove of beats from the era, and teamed up with Celph Titled for Nineteen Ninety Now and Nineteen Ninety More. The results were two of the best tribute albums to the era of KRS-One’s “Sound of Da Police.”
Similarly, Purpose has teamed up with beatsmith Conficence, for The Purpose of Confidence. With beats and production rooted in the era of the SP-1200, themes and concepts aplenty, and solid lyricism throughout, it is easily one of the strongest albums of the year. Unfortunately, it may continue to fly under most head’s radar, but should be given ample due like Buckwild and Celph Titled earned for themselves on their collaboration.
Purpose is a new name to most, but his rap style is rooted in some of the best from yesteryear. His voice and delivery is akin to O.C. during Jewelz, and it is stunning how similarly he sounds to him on some of the more subdued and mellow tracks. Lyrically, he has a straight-ahead flow, built around the concepts of each track. Refreshingly, he brings a lot of heartfelt rhymes, brimming with a sense of good upbringing and being a good human. It’s not often that the streets can be blended with morality, but Purpose shows this throughout the record. On “So Goes The Story” he voices, “Keep improving on your life in every way that you live,” and on “Flawed” he asks a young lady, “Would you rather be somebody’s queen or everybody’s ho?”
For Confidence’s part, he offers one of the most consistent albums musically, from start to finish, of the year. The simple drum loop at the beginning of “The Way I Sound” is a fitting tribute to “D. Original” by Jeru; followed by a dope loop; accentuated by scratches of Rakim, Nice and Smooth, Redman, etc., and forms the type of track that most of the bigwig producers would be clueless to put together these days. The album is setoff proper with gunshots, pianos, horns, strings, and flutes, all of which offer the fact that the album that awaits is an epic. “Rep To The Death” brings a rolling loop, a dancehall-styled chant at the end, and other tools from the 90’s wheelhouse that Confidence makes fresh for the 2012 and beyond.
It’s a shame that Purpose & Confidence established their musical careers at a low point for hip-hop album sales, this album could have gone gold in the era it is dedicated too. On The Purpose Of Confidence, the team does something that most who reminisce about the boom-bap era are usually unable to do, they make an album that is relevant for the now. It’s able to entertain, inform, inspire, and motivate all in one sitting. The beats bang, the lyrics are dope, the songs are varied, and the head is bound to bop when it hits your speakers. Their “Vision Of Excellence” was realized on this album, and not just in the title of one of the tracks.
Rating: #### out of #####
1. The Break Down
2. Rep To The Death
3. Vision Of Excellence (feat. Cormega / Estee Nack (Tragic Allies))
4. Rain Drops (feat. Alize Lugo)
5. Murderous Verses
6. Felony Findings
7. Promise Me This
8. So Goes The Story
9. What’s It Mean To You (feat. Code Nine (Tragic Allies))
10. Flawed (feat. M-Credible)
11. Old To The New
12. The Way That I Sound
14. Harsh Realities
15. I Hate Good Byes