Reviewed by Dan Emmons
Red Bull Freestyle champion and Philadelphia Emcee Mic Stewart, has finally dropped his album following his victory in Atlanta, Georgia this past summer. Teaming up with producer Sam Live and very notable features from Selina Carrera, Brad Moser, Chill Moody, Melvin McKnight, DJ Damage and DJ Stradegy, the album Peaceworld has the recipe for success.
The first track off the album is “Tread Lightly” with Brad Moser, and it is the perfect head-bobbing, hip hop classic of a track, feeding fans with Stewart’s special delivery with some excellent production. The second track is “That’s How You Sing It”, including one the most tastefully used vocal samples that truly adds to the drama of the track. In conjunction with very well written lyrics by Stewart, a chorus for everyone to rally around and build up that rains down on the audience, this track might be my favorite. It is often hard for freestyle or battle rappers to transcend what they do well into writing actual songs, but Stewart shows he can handle that on this track.
The beginning of the album is so strong in substance that it takes shine from a few tracks in the middle, such as “Let it Bump” and “Kill Whitey”, which are entertaining but lack the WOW factor that had my full attention. That being said, “Lonely Hearts” featuring Selina Carrera solves that problem right away. This is another example of a fully composed song. Stewart slows the tempo and makes you believe he is speaking to his girl, while Carrera accentuates perfectly both on ad-libs over Stewart’s raps as well as the aching chorus.
“Gunshots” has two verses of social consciousness/anger and the third is a narrative of robbing a bank, which is an odd way to construct a hip hop track. Though it does keep the attention of the audience and each verse is worth waiting for. Tracks like “War Cry” and the recently released music video for “I’m Not From Brooklyn” really show Stewart’s style at its best. The speed, annunciation and alliteration are all going to catch the ears of new listeners. The rest of the album’s highlights come on “Love” featuring Melvin McKnight and DJ Stradegy and “Peaceworld (Outro)”.
Overall, Peaceworld has some incredibly bright points. Mic Stew shows his versatility over various beats at different tempos, and his transition is impressive. He never drops the ball on his verses and the production of Sam Live and contributing DJs vary the album so that it never gets stale. Peaceworld could have done without a few tracks, but I believe this album is going to catch the ear of a very large fan base.