I thought I knew everything about the Low Budget crew and then Sean Born came along. I heard about this project a while back and heard Kev Brown was producing the project and knew I had to listen. More times than not at least with Mello Music Group the emcees in the group have had projects beforehand but as far as I know this is Sean Born’s debut. I went into the “Behind the Scale” without hearing the samples off Itunes and only reading the reviews from Potholes in my Blog. Let me tell you what I found.
One thing I’ll let you in on right away is the fact that this is a very cohesive project both with the production and with the lyricism. “Grandeur” kicks off the album and it gives you the perfect vision of what’s to come with the rest of the record. Now usually I would pick out my favorite tracks and throw them in this review, but the tracks are so closely related and the concept of the album is so closely knit it’s really hard to do that.
Now I should warn you, not to take this album for face value (though the fact that you’re reading this probably insinuates you wouldn’t do that) this album is more than just an album saying, smoke weed, have sex with women and get drunk. It’s actually a really nice commentary on what inner-city members have to go through. And in fact touches on topics like black masculinity and more, but in an indirect way.
I have a couple of favorites on this record including “The Quartermaine” Sean throughout the whole record kind of goes through this push and pull with the life he has/had in the inner-city. You see him do the whole tough guy thing, but at the same time know he has to avoid the cops. He talks about women and drinking and what not but not in the context that you would hear on a radio single. Like I said if you take this album for face value you’re completely missing the point of this record.
Another track I wanted to touch on was “Bullshit” which features Hassaan Mackey from the other dope record “Daily Bread”. Now I mention this track because Sean Born was featured on “Daily Bread” with the track “The Trenches”. And this track is more of the same, both have been through and seen a lot and all of that is depicted through this track. After hearing both “Bullshit” and “The Trenches” these two really need to do a record together with beats by Apollo Brown and Kev Brown, it would be dope.
Sean Born is nice on the mike, you can hear his confidence as he depicts different pictures for the listener. While he’s more or less speaking on the same overall concept, he does take numerous approaches to it, and it’s not all bad, tracks like “Lights On” and “Pour Out Liquor” the former showing that he’s simply trying to make it to the next day and survive. The latter in some ways is his anthem to his life in the inner-city and the people in it.
Anyway “Behind the Scale” is real dope record if you take the time to actually analyze and think about what the Low Budget emcee is saying. My only real gripe with the album is that it can get kind of repetitive in that you know where the next song is going. At the same time though this record has been getting a lot of play and a lot of repeats on my end. There’s really no reason for you to not pick up this album. Kev Brown handled most of the production on the project but the other producers (Quartermaine, Kenwood and Oddisee) all stick to the sound that Kev Brown implemented while still bringing their own style, which I found impressive. I’m not really sure why people have been giving this album just an average marking, but I thought this was a great album.