“I’m Steve Biko with a mic” – Blaklez.Strong words from the Pretoria emcee. Blaklez came in to prominence via the groups Pressure Point alongside Ras and Stas, and then The Anvils, with current label mate on Cap City Records, N’veigh. Since then he is renowned as a straight talking rapper who doesn’t mince his words whether in the booth or outside. With this release, backed by an EMI distribution deal, the Black Beast has been unleashed to our ears.
With the fact that this debut solo has been in the pipelines since 2010, you have come to expect that a change in musical direction from Blaklez will be inevitable. After he released the mixtape 10 Seconds To Showtime and an abundant number of free downloads, it’s somewhat sad that three of the songs on the album have been out for more than a year; which makes this 13-track offering partly a combination of Blaklez in 2010 and stat quo Blaklez...
...The last song on the album is the most anticipated collaboration on the album and truth is, it supersedes the expectation. Blaklez enlists N’veigh and Maggz on “Rise” which is most likely the standout out track alongside “Before I Die” for me. Verses heartfelt, flows immaculate and this will draw more “oohs and ahhs” than a soccer game with close misses.
In its entirety, The Black Beast is a good listen, with the let-down being that his previously released songs from more than two years ago formed part of this project. Needless to say, his songs are single worthy, there are a mix of heartfelt songs and your “going in hard” songs are in abundance, making this a pretty balanced offering.