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Fury Figeroa
Top of the Food Chain
XL Entertainment (2014)
good good good good good

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Fury aka Fury Figeroa is one of the most prolific rappers from Salinas in the 831 area code. He debuted over a decade ago with a "Talk Is Cheap" collabo recorded together with a fellow artist/producer King. And then he just kept on releasing a solo after solo: "Ferocious", "Typhoon Hoggin'" (in digitals only), "Method 2 Tha Madness" and finally "The Shock Value Mixtape" in 2011. He also dropped two more collaboration projects: 2006 brought "Cali Crookz" with Yun-Gun, while in 2013 Fury hooked up with a San Francisco artist S.B. which resulted in a "2 Headed Monstah". Not only did we have a chance to review most of these cds (read the reviews), but we also conducted an interview with the artist back in 2013. Now's the time for a 2014 endeavor: the hereby "Top of the Food Chain".

First of all I've got to admit I truly like the cover, that impaled skull, aggression and an overall grim feeling make it look way different than a typical rap artwork. The inside on the other hand is more standard though, especially if you consider lyrics. Unfortunately Fury hasn't brought any truly refreshing content: from time to time you will hear the main theme of being an apex predator, preying on the ones lower in the food chain. Other than that you'll get the known braggadocio thing, as Fury is the illest, the coldest, the dopest, the sickest, he's all about his money, he's hustling hard, he's got no competition, he's putting it down for the Central Coast, pushing crack etc. And this is what the whole cd looks like. Fortunately Fury's flow and the fact that he often puts emotions into his verses make up for the lack of originality in the lyrics. On top of that his bars are usually spiked with nice rhymes, but here and there you will also get a weaker word combination. Just have a look at the quote below:

Style is too technical
Rhyming impeccable
Ride for the decimals
Traumatized for trying my testicles
And I'm like: everybody hit the deck
You don't want to fuck with me, I get mad respect
My life is so crazy I should write a book
Better yet I sit back and write a hook

While reviewing "The Shock Value Mixtape" I mentioned that it was almost entirely produced by Fury himself, and I considered it a drawback. The history repeats itself, as the host took care of the beats all by himself. I have mixed feelings about them. On the one hand they've got that dark, mob type, West Coast flavor, with ominous piano, grimy synth or a guitar in the background. On the other hand I feel like a few cuts require more work. What I'm trying to say is that the album would benefit from more variety, if more producers could contribute and introduce a bit of diversity. Beats are overall ok, but certainly Fury is a better MC than a DJ, if you know what I mean. I can't say a bad thing about his flow, the way he blends with various rhythms, slows down and speeds up from time to time, however the secondary lyrical content let me down. I am Fury's fan, so my opinion is a little biased. If it were anybody else, I would just tell you the cd is fine, nothing spectacular though, and probably wouldn't complain that much. But I had higher expectations, I know Fury can do better, that's why I kept on raving about various aspects of "Top of the Food Chain". With that said, if you are into West Coast street / gangsta shit, give this one a try. The criticism I spilled here and there won't stop me from bumping the project every now and then.

Fury, thanks for sending out the review copy.

Written by: khamenei
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