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It seems that almost anytime Greg Owens & Nathan Corrona get together they’re dropping classic material. Their latest release titled Pro Pain is nothing different. Raw Material was something special, and then they raised the bar with Backbreakanomics; I mean, what could we really expect from Pro Pain? Could they really top their previous two major releases? Truth be told, I think the Mars ILL crew of Soulheir the manCHILD and DJ Dust outdid themselves with this project. With this being such a highly anticipated release, it’s nothing short of spectacular.

The introduction to the album makes it very clear that if you play around with propane, you’re liable to blow something up; well, that’s exactly what Mars ILL is attempting to do with this release, they’re setting out to make their music blow up! I really don’t even know where to begin with this album because there is so much to talk about, so I guess I’ll break it up into the two components of Mars ILL: DJ Dust & manCHILD. We’ll start with DJ Dust…

The production on this album is awesome; I mean, there’s really no other word that can be used to describe it. You honestly can’t listen to this album and pick out a bad beat, it’s that good. The sounds on this album are still your typical Mars ILL gritty underground sound, but this time around it’s got a little something extra that makes it more appealing to the masses. Before, Dust’s beats were geared towards more of the underground heads, but with Pro Pain he’s made it more accessible by hip-hop heads, skaters the general rap fan, and anyone else who may take
a listen. I won’t even attempt to pick a favorite beat because I’d have to pick all of them.

As far as manCHILD goes, he straight brought it on this album, plain and simple. He changed up his style a bit on this one, and it proved to be the determining factor in taking this album to another level beyond anything he had done before. His lyrics are catchier on this one and just resonate in your ear much better than anything he had done before. An example of this would be “Stand Back and Watch” as both the lyrics and hook are both very memorable. Even when he gets serious and hits on social issues, it still comes off hot like in the track “More” featuring Anthony David and labelmate Ahmad Jones (of 4th Avenue Jones); the lyricism on that track is sick and hits home on a lot of things America is dealing with right now. Don’t even get me on the story telling in tracks like “When Heaven Scrapes the Pavement,” it’s just bananas…

I don’t really know what I can say about this album to make you want to go buy it. You just need to have it! Mars ILL raised the bar to an immense level with Pro Pain! I didn’t think they could do it, but they did; they delivered an album that makes their previous releases look like child’s play. Both Dust & manCHILD were at the top of their game in delivering this masterpiece, and all of the accompanying emcees that dropped verses were on point as well. This is hands down my favorite release of 2005, it’s as simple as that!


 

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