Published on April 12th, 2012 | by Boman12l0
Review: Black Belt Theatre – Planet Asia
Planet Asia’s Black Belt Theater is a high flying, kung Fu inspired, feature packed, disc that is sure to please longtime fans of the west coast veteran. PA has given listeners enough material to hold them over for a long time.
Black Belt Theatre is a big disc. With twenty tracks and over twenty featured guests, this disc is a lot to take in. For the most part the album does not disappoint. The soul infused production provides the perfect backdrop for PA’s hard hitting rhymes. The lyrics are on point and fans will be sure to find many memorable lines as they make their way through the theatre.
The majority of the album’s production is handled by Dirtydiggs and Twizthebeatpro, Diggs producing ten and Twiz handling three of the album’s tracks. The rest of the disc is filled out nicely with production from vets Oh No and Khrysis, and talents Religion and Brisk Oner. The album has a consistent sound with long sample loops, smooth bass rhythms and a lot of soul. For the most part, the production is on point and the album has a good mix of highs and lows. However, some tracks like “Bruce Lee” and “Line of Fire” don’t leave a lasting impression or standout compared to some of the other tracks.
Black Belt Theatre is a full house. There are over twenty featured credits on the album. While there are strong performances by most of the guests, “Grown Folks Talking” featuring Talib Kweli and “No Apologies” featuring Raekwon demonstrate the hard hitting cuts of the Black Belt Theatre at its finest. Both tracks feature high energy, head banging beats that will instantly draw in listeners. Kweli and Raekwon have standout verses and match PA lyric for lyric. Other tracks might have better been left in the studio. “Coons” feat. Killer Ben and “Line of Fire” feat. Krondon, Picaso and Phil The Agony, do not share the same chemistry. Black Belt Theatre‘s extended running time does not work in its favor.
Once the production is over, most listeners will find Black Belt Theatre an enjoyable experience. Yes act three is a little long, some of the players are just going through their paces. There are strong performances throughout the theatre and Planet Asia can still put on a lyrical show and will not disappoint. Longtime fans will love it. Newer listeners will spin it a few times, also.