Representing DC and grabbing immediate interest merely by the cool cover art, hip-hop specialist Treasure comes delivering hype East Coast rhymes and a fresh freestyle delivery on his debut 16-track project, Stand Firm.Producers: Treasure, Deuce
album release date: April 2001
Characterizing his tone is an earnestness and an in-your-face audaciousness that’s too easily attributable to his youthful 20 years. But somehow you know it’s more than just that; credit Treasure with a holy boldness that comes from a cleansed heart that desires to speak, encourage and warn.
The project starts with "Who Getting Live",an unusual track that relies on Treasure’s distinctive staccato delivery that has him nearly but never tripping over his words, plus some closely stacked studio harmonies to jab and encourage ‘getting live for God’. With multiple geographical shout-outs, it manages to catch you even if you think it won’t.
Notable tracks are "Most High God" with its boom-boom ride and tingling percussives rooting Treasure’s repetitive, syllable-stricken lines.
The whistle-driven, battle-themed title track also makes an impact.
With partner in rhyme Enyaphace checking in on "Boldness", and a couple other guest MCs and vocalists dropping by every few tracks or so, Treasure avoids the trap of monotony that can too easily occur with a distinctive flow such as his. "Something To Say" with the easily flows of The Revelator is hard to miss. The diversity of the project is there.
Making Stand Firm stand alone is the two-track "Delicate" series. Subtitled "The Prayer" and "The Vision", Treasure expresses via a more laidback style his heart’s prayer for his future wife "someone who loves me for me / and has God in her life". Set to smooth synths, this is nearly ten minutes of personal outpouring that, while straying from harder-edged hip-hop that Treasure excels at, goes down as the project’s most notable achievement.
Rahab Records has a winner in Treasure another hip-hop effort in 2001 that needs to be checked out. (Don't just take our word for it. Find this Treasure yourself on MP3.)
reviewed by Stan North —
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