14 2 Life: Illustrations of Self (TCR Edition)
It was about this time last year that I was sitting here doing this same thing, writing a review for a K-Drama album. In 2004, I was writing a review for his album Non-Fiction, but this time around I\'m reviewing his third solo release titled 14 2 Life: Illustrations of Self. The one thing that I\'ll say about this album is that K-Drama has grown all around, including musically as well as spiritually. Since reviewing K-Drama\'s Non-Fiction album, I\'ve been listening closely to everything he\'s put out on his label so that I could see how he\'s grown. With Certified Streetbangers he stepped up his production, as well as his flow; he then did the same thing with Serious Series Vol 1 & 2, he simply got better. With that being said, I was excited to get my hands on this album because I knew that K-Drama was going to bring it. After my first listen, he brought it, and more! The first thing that you notice when listening to this album is that Regis Jones has matured considerably since his previous solo release. Non-Fiction was a solid album content wise; but with 14 2 Life, he takes his subject matter to another level. You can clearly see his maturity in tracks like \'14 2 Life\' and \'Valley View Avenue\' (two of my favorite tracks). In \'14 2 Life,\' K-Drama eloquently elaborates on his life as he leads up to when he was at the age of 14 and gave his life to the Lord. I don\'t even know how to explain \'Valley View Avenue,\' but it\'s simply amazing the way he speaks on how he can\'t look behind at his past (shadows), but needs to focus on God. The second thing that you notice when listening to 14 2 Life is the expanded flow and lyricism that K-Drama presents. K-Drama describes himself as a dirty south rapper from the midwest, but he doesn\'t stay in that box with this project. On this project, he presents many different sides of himself. On tracks like \'School of Thought\' featuring manCHILD of Mars ILL, K-Drama brings a rugged underground flow; whereas, on tracks like \'underRATED\' he brings a very upbeat rhyme pattern whose intent is purely for fun. K-Drama\'s rhyming on this album is unlimited as he presents something new on almost every track, which keeps the album fresh as you move from the middle towards the end. The next thing you notice with K-Drama is his willingness to take a stand for his faith and what he believes in. Regis definitely has a heart for the youth and he\'s tired of all the contradictions within Christianity and he isn\'t afraid to speak out on them. \'Did He Say That?\' is one of those tracks that he uses to speak out on all the contradictions. One of the lines from that track reads as follows, \'That girl looks good as hell// Since when did hell start looking so attractive?\' With lines like that, you can clearly see what Drama is talking about. \'Throw the Chairs in the Church\' is another track that speaks out on fake Christians & rappers who say that \'Jesus is my homeboy.\' Just like Jesus, Regis has set out to turn the tables on those who are using God\'s house for unholy purposes. I totally respect K-Drama for taking this stance because there are very few artists out there who are willing to say things like this and challenge their surrounding environment. The final thing that you\'ll notice is that K-Drama\'s counterpart Platinum Tips totally stepped it up with the production. All of these beats can make your neck snap. This time around the beats are more solid, and the mastering and mixing for this project are a lot stronger than any other TCR release. Big ups to sirROC over at Syntax Records who mastered this joint to perfection. And I can\'t forget others like Theory Hazit and Tony Stone who dropped hot tracks on this project; they truly complete this musical effort. In conclusion, K-Drama has stepped up to the plate and hit a homerun with his album 14 2 Life: Illustrations of Self. There isn\'t a single bad thing that I can say about this album. Ever since I got this disk, I haven\'t been able to turn off my MP3 player. I\'ll put on one of my best albums (i.e. Mars ILL or Cross Movement) and I end up turning it off so that I can play this album. Even though it\'s the beginning of the year, I\'ll go ahead and say that this is one of those CDs that you must have for 2005 because this is just the beginning from T.H.I.S. Click Records.