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Album Review: Mista Encore, ‘BARSsince 1986’

Posted: November 27th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Mixtapes, Reviews | Tags: , , | No Comments »


2013 has been a significant year for Mista Encore. He gained national attention after appearing on the Sway in the Morning show in early January. The show introduced Encore to a new audience, while solidifying him as an authentic lyricist. “Bow to the throne when we running through your area/ I was born prince like coming to America.” Formerly known as Jay Encore, Mista Encore has majestic rhyming ability, yet he’s gone uncrowned within the hip-hop game.

BARSsince 1986 is the latest full-length composition by the Victory League Music rap artist. The album features 12 tracks, three in which were originally produced by Mista Encore himself. During the opening track, “Open Letter Freestyle”, listeners will hear the same lyrics that intrigued Sway Calloway and Heather B. Encore effortlessly distinguishes himself from the competition after rapping, “Rookie of the year, new games assassin/ running towards victory, trained and lapped them.”

In the tape’s next song, “Food For Thought”, he taps into his listener’s intellect. “You talkin’ money, but we ain’t thinkin’ same vault.” The track focuses on the power of knowledge and true comprehension. “Food For Thought” also illustrates Encore’s keen business philosophies. “You tryna stunt? Big chain, dough, and whips. My brain white Jew, I’m thinking ownership.”  The longtime independent MC shares aspirations that made Jay Z and Dr. Dre household names beyond the hip-hop microscope.

In 2012, Mista Encore captured the hearts of many female hip-hop fans with his YouTube smash, “Just Might Make It.” He attempts to capitalize on the song’s success with “Round the Way Girl.” “She can do high heels or the new J’s, get a new outfit like every two days. She could do hood, but still got class. Pay her own way cuz she make her own cash.” Compared to LL Cool J’s version, it is evident that any woman would appreciate Encore’s attempt to redefine the meaning of “round the way girl.”

Mista Encore transitions to braggadocio driven tracks like “Pound Cake Freestyle”, “Numbers on the Board Freestyle”, and “Pay Homage.” It is within these tracks where his self-ordained Guillotine rhyming style is on full display.

According to Mista Encore, BARSsince 1986 has been a work in progress his entire life. On, “Past the Roof” we realize the impact his grandmother had on his life and love for music. “Record players spinning, my mind is doing the same/ check my family tree, music running through my veins.” We hear his dark revelations about being abandoned by his father during the early stages of life along with brighter moments, such as receiving his first keyboard from an uncle.

The track fades from an impromptu version of the “new brown sugar,” and takes us to Cloud 9 on “A Night to Remember.” We are encouraged to allow our vices to oversee our better judgment. His charming microphone skills make it easier to let go for at least one night. In addition, the soulful beat loop heard on “A Night to Remember” and the Marvin Gaye sampled “Inner City Muse” compliment his vocals accordingly.

The artist revisits his desire to achieve his goals on “Any Means Necessary.” His words shoot straight to your soul like an excerpt from a Langston Hughes poem. As a listener, you do indeed believe he will get it by any means necessary.

 “I’m feeling like Michael in the fourth quarter.” BARSsince 1986 was worth the wait. Will Mista Encore game six the rap game with this new release? Or will his mission to be crowned king of hip-hop remain stagnant? Only time will tell.

Essential tracks:

“Open Letter Freestyle”

“Food For Thought”

“Luxury To Chill”

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