Von Pea, Pea's Gotta Have It Album Review

Von Pea takes ‘em to school on his solo offering, Pea’s Gotta Have It.


Conceptually set during senior year of high school, the Tanya Morgan emcee ably sticks to the script, covering nearly every experience from the first day to Graduation.

Brick Beats‘ soulfully brisk backdrop on “The Yorker” feels as fresh as back-to-school clothes and Aeon’s airy production on “There U Were” (featuring Uzoy) perfectly supports Pea’s effortless flow and witty tale of the perils of kicking it to an anonymous “e-honey” over AIM. “The Good Life” captures the capriciousness of in-class day dreaming then transitions smoothly into “Open School” where day dreaming goes wrong, resulting in the Brooklyn lyricists removal from class. Danny! assists with a solid verse detailing his skills in altering report cards with a Sharpie.

The James Cooley produced “Ahead Of The Class” is a light hearted cypher rhyme loaded with more Von Pea wittiness. “If Rap don’t work I’ll fall back and be a doctor / So damn cool yall and I ain’t even popular.” “New Pair” (featuring Josie Stingray and Rhapsody) ingeniously samples Will Smith’s “Summertime” for it’s hook (“Yeah, I got on sneaks but I need a new pair”), fulfilling the obligatory high school sneaker obsession. While Rap songs about shoes are as stale as an encyclopedia home set, “Get Violated’s” progressive use of Andre 3000’s “The Love Below Intro” mixed with Pea’s clever account of getting hijacked for his Flights is a savvy recovery. Brizzo’s hand claps and hop step beat is exactly what is expected from “Pep Rally.” And album closer, “Outro”, pimp slaps life’s cold reality straight into the teenage consciousness. “Child support due / Rent that’s past due / Mom’s, baby moms, plus the cops harass you.”

“Dreams” is undoubtedly Pea's Gotta Have It’s standout track. Jermiside, Illyas and Spec Boogie all deliver quality stanzas and Von’s slick personification of his 16 bar verse is both pristine in delivery and conceptually engaging.


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