Album sequencing, sadly, is becoming a lost art, but there’s poor sequencing and then there’s egregious errors in perception. For instance, tucking the best beat on an album into a hidden track and then further deeming it worthy of just a couple tossed-off verses, must be lumped into this latter category. Strike one against Spear of the Nation’s Spearitalk. To hide the punchy, neck snapping, horn laced beat of Spearitalk’s hidden track behind the merely satisfactory album closer “Eye’s of the I” is really a crime.
This is not say that the album doesn’t have a few other head nods to offer in the beat department. The lush backing track for the album’s first song “Black Love?” is abetted by a righteous “That ain’t right” chorus from missing-in-action Wu-Tang songstress Tekitha (who actually appears on two tracks here). This is followed up by the sunny string stabs and hand claps of “Brutha From Anutha Planet”. Even Spearitalk’s misguided attempt at a stomping club track, the somewhat generic “Private Dancer”, has its upside in furious cuts by DJ Icewater.
Unfortunately, the beats, bright as they may be in some places, can’t save this album from its true downfall: Spear of the Nation’s lack of lyrical variation. Listeners are served with a heaping portion of positive, uplift-the-nation raps, and not much else. Of course, it might seem harsh to criticize an MC for keeping his topics clean, particularly in the current “creative” climate when rap fans face an unending onslaught of slack rhymes and repetitive, ghettoized narratives. Politics and positivity do make a fine main course, but Spearitalk is in desperate need of some side dishes.