Arrakis Records – 2001
Coming out of Philly, Briz (aka Brizmatic ) has been making somenoise recently, and with good reason. In 2000, he dropped “Cannons” b/w “Street Stages,” a decent single pairing him with The Black Narcissist. Late last year he reloaded with “Blown Mind,” a four-song EP flexing noticeably sharper rhymes and some seriously tight beats.
The title track, produced by Grass Appeal, rides wispy flute loops, with nice bass tones and punchy snares supporting his wordy but down-to-earth lyrics. “Up in this hazy world its crazy hard to make it out / my baby girl she give me hope whenever faced with doubt / my minds cluttered up / weed’ll help me space it out / relieve the stress a little / help me get the message out.” Low Budget adds some nice cuts to finish things off. Next up is “Balance Your Life (Remix),” another winner fuelled by dirty beats, subtle but bugged-out keyboards, and some cinematic string stabs courtesy of Quest.
While side A is sufficiently hot, the flipside burns the house down. Fast rising emcee Breez Evahflowin’ represents hard on “Doin’ It,” an exceptional joint that rocks a great Stape Mega beat, fusing mellow guitar licks with lively drum fills, subterranean bass bumps, chill synths, and more quality table-taming from Low Budget. The final track, “Simplicity,” cooked up by One Productions, nearly jumps out of the speaker, with pounding beats, moody piano chords, and jangly harpsichords. Short but sweet, it’s the perfect setting for Briz to really go off, as he proceeds to cut loose with a stream of intense rhymes, while triumphant, Rocky-style “duh-duh-duh-duh-duh”s add to the already hype vibe.
All told, “Blown Mind” is a must-hear. Each of the four producers deliver ill tracks, and Briz’s microphone prowess is impossible to deny. Hopefully he’ll hit us off with a full-length soon, and if it’s anything like this, watch out.