Review: Peter Matekovits

Audio Samples
Get Paid
One Life
More BS
I Tried
TTGP

Track Listing
1. Genesis
2. Arrival
3. 10:34 (It Was Not Written)
4. Chicago
5. Alien Race
6. About the Author
7. K&G 1&2 (Interlude)
8. Get Paid
9. One Life
10. More BS
11. I Tried
12. For You
13. It Ends Tonight
14. Desert Eagle
15. Reinventing the Blunt
16. Quantum Leaf
17. Heaven's Mirrors
18. Simple Minds
19. In Due Time
20. K&G 3 (Interlude)
21. TTGP
22. Walk Thru Walls
23. FU Frontline

 

Qwazaar: Walk Thru Walls
(2001, Frontline) CD: $13.50 @ The HHI Store
One of the drawbacks of being in a group becomes especially evident when you decide to go solo: you will not only be judged against to your previous efforts, but almost certainly your partner's accomplishments as well.  Typical Cats' Qwel and Qwazaar have released their albums within such a short period that comparisons between the two are inescapable.  Yet while Qwel delivered what was expected from him with If it Ain't Been in a Pawnshop..., Qwazaar's Walk Thru Walls is a bit more inconsistent all around, and perhaps a slight letdown with his stellar previous showings in mind.   

The production on Walk Thru Walls is handled by the team of Insomnitracks, which consists of Lousy Bastard, O-Type Star, Alo, Chauncie Gardner, Chester Copperpat, and JDoubleU.  In reality, however, most of the members contribute only one beat each, while Chauncie Gardner is responsible for well over half of the tracks, and Lousy Bastard grinds out four pieces.  The greater part of the production is commendable, with tight if generic drum programming, and atmospheric samples that go well with Qwazaar's unique voice and sinister subject matter.  But over the course of twenty-three tracks, the dark sound of the Insomnitracks becomes somewhat dreary, and so do Qwazaar's choices for topics. 

Indeed, the greatest weakness of Walk Thru Walls is its lack of diversity.  Much of the album's subject matter is battle-orientated, and though Qwazaar's grim raps may at first seem exciting, by the end of Walk Thru Walls the content gets quite exhausting; Qwa's rhymes sound good, but tend to lack substance.  For example, on "Desert Eagle" he spits this irrelevant passage: "I'm on some civilized thug shit that you bitches can't fuck with/ yo fuck the critics and fuck religion, we march over burnt bridges/ so pay attention before you find your limbs missing, and kill the ignorance/ it's evident that time on earth is short, but enough time to make you realize your spine is dirt."  "More BS" suffers from the same imperfection, as there's nothing wrong with it sonically, but aside from the countless expletives, nothing is being said.  In the same way "Quantum Leaf" is essentially pleasing, but even the most devoted herb fiend will recall at least a dozen more imaginative takes on the same subject.   

Heavier subject matter brings out the best of Qwazaar.  "I Tried" is exceedingly heart-felt, and represents a welcome digression from Qwazaar's bloodthirsty battle raps.  In the same vein are "One Life," and "About the Author."   "One Life" pairs Qwa with JDoubleU, and the two swap sincere rhymes atop Chauncie Gardner's mellow composition.   "About the Author" is somewhat weaker production-wise, but the rhymes are hitting, and so is Qwazaar's sharp-edged delivery.

While most of the guests on Walk Thru Walls are little known, Chi-Town heavyweight Juice, and the talented O-Type Star make an appearance on the straight-up dope "TTGP."  The trio make you know that they have paid their dues, and now it's their time to get paid.  Nothing wrong with that sentiment-- they deserve to do so, and O-Type Star's laid-back guitars are particularly nice on the ear.  "Get Paid" is similarly tight with a soulful beat, and harmonious rhymes, but what's the point of making basically the same song twice?   

Walk Thru Walls is unquestionably a laudable effort; the majority of the beats are good, and Qwazaar is a highly talented emcee.  Yet for more or less vague reasons it lacks the pizzazz which makes an album memorable.  The producers do their thing behind the boards, but generally they don't reach the highland of absolute dopeness.  Also Qwazaar has some fine tuning to do before earning himself a spot amongst Chicago's finest.  With a touch more depth in production and subject matter, Qwazaar's next could very well realize what Walk Thru Walls only hints of.