2014 has been quite the year for the Ila Da Sandman’s, Sage MCkenze and his crew. Sandman’s First Strike project was my introduction to his music and that album ended up doing pretty well for a Indie. They also followed up with stellar albums/mixtapes such as Sage Mckenze’s 2 Years Later and the 5 Borough Terrorist mixtape which would surely satisfy hip hop heads whom are missing the 90s style of NY hip hop. Strike 2 The Hunga was promised to be a more aggressive album and it showed that Sandman is more confident and polished on the mic than before. You can tell within listening to this 12 track LP that he was determined to out do himself and it comes across as a great sequel to his debut album.
Alot of rappers today love to label themselves shit. If it isn’t a player, a baller, a thug, A Nympho, Whatever the case maybe, Artists often want to come up with a label to box themselves in, Ila Da Sandman claims to be neither, He’s a young and hungry cat from the Bronx who happens to love hip hop music and determined to excel at it. You can tell by listening to the album’s street single Thats What I Do which is backed by a Mark Henry Introduction that he’s determined to show that he’s trying to out do himself and offering the challenge to all. The album’s first video titled Fury is reminisce of that hardcore boom bap NY sound and also showcases Sandman’s hilarious wit(Just by checking the video alone). Bowser Bars is also an standout on the creative tip where they cleverly flip the Bowser instrumental from the Mario Bros games and turn it into a hip hop banger for Sandman to exercise his bars.
There are songs that hit hard(Such as Street Veterans). Throughout the middle part of the album, The album slows down and mellows a bit. The first couple of tracks start off in current beast mode but It’s not strictly a hardcore boom bap kill all album.
Strike 2 excels on levels of diversity meaning that Sandman wasn’t trying to box himself as just a hardcore emcee. He shows a comic side on the No Swag interlude where he croons hilariously over PM Dawns classic track Set Drift of Memory Bliss. Considering PM Dawn’s status in today’s world of rap, They would most likely be thankful.
The Track Seen B4 has some robotic vibe which sounds like it could have came from a Transformers cartoon but it comes across as very catchy due to the adictive hook. Sandman also flexes some tracks for the ladies as well, There are instances where he’s having fun out there like on Buy Me Everything and also shows love to the ladies on “Boo Loving“. Great songs about the Opposite sex without sounding too corny.
Overall this was a very cohesive album that lived up to the hype and possibly may have went another step further from his debut. This album is definitely worth the download! Support the Underground!!
Vic Rating: 9 outta 10