Vinnie Paz is a Rottweiler in a game full of poodles. His raw and gritty voice in combination with his rough, hardcore gangster lyrics makes for a great listening experience on God of the Serengeti. The voice of the legendary Jedi Mind Tricks packs 19 tracks filled with a star-studded cast of features and producers on his latest record.
God of the Serengeti showcases verses from artists like Immortal Technique, Scarface, Mobb Deep, Kool G. Rap and even a posse track from Army of the Pharaohs. Gangster rap fans may get giddy just from reading the track list alone, and that’s without even mentioning the list of producers. If your head isn’t furiously bobbing to some of these beats, you’re either tone deaf or just aren’t a fan of hip hop.
Vinnie Paz is the streets incarnate. His ability to utilize imagery just from the ambience of each song is amazing. The beats alone on stand out tracks “The Oracle” and “Cheesesteaks,” produced by DJ Premier and Psycho Les respectively, are so hard hitting they’re sure to get your neck sore. Vinnie Paz only enhances the experience by riding the beat flawlessly as he often does on almost track.
Big Pun’s son, Chris Rivers A.K.A Baby Pun, makes an appearance with an impressive verse on the reflective track “Last Breath.” Big Pun’s influence on Vinnie Paz is very evident throughout the album besides the fact that he added such a reverent feature. Paz’s style and voice is even eerily similar to Big Pun’s gritty machine-gun flow featured on “Capital Punishment.” Paz even shouts out the late Pun on the track “Jake LaMotta:” “I live in gun land; home of nine mili ville/ and I’m a Pun fan; greatest rapper really ill.”
It’s easy for fans of Vinnie to worry about the amount of features on God of the Serengeti; however, the features really save the album from its number one problem: repetition. It is difficult to avoid this problem based on the fact alone of having 19 tracks on one album, but this effect is amplified by most tracks having a very similar sound overall. By the end of the album, most listeners will be begging for a more refreshing sound.
This effect makes tracks that sound even a little different that much better. The rhythmic sample on the interlude, “Feign Submission,” leaves the listener curious of whether Vinnie Paz is able to successfully show off his diversity a bit more. This is also true for when Paz is not completely in character as an OG and is self-reflective with his lyrics on Jake LaMotta.
If you’re a fan of rap that’s hard-hitting, raw, gangster and just overall dope, then this album is for you.