This week’s resolution selection is Al’ Tariq’s God Connections. This was one of the albums that I really had to track down to get into my possession. It was released by a small label and had like zero publicity, so I had no idea it was ever released or even that I should be looking for it. I only caught a hint of its existence after checking out a few of Tariq’s singles.
Now, Fashion (a.k.a. Al’ Tariq) was my favorite of the original Beatnuts. He was the most lyrically clever and probably the most lyrically skilled. So when he left the group, it was a pretty big blow for me. As such, when I found out he had a solo album, I knew it was something that I’d have to get at some point.
Of course that “some point” was years after it was released, which meant that it ended up getting a little neglected.
But finally giving the album its proper due, I really came to see what strong solo debut it is. Tariq is very skilled on the mic. On “Foxxxy Brown” he manages to tell a tale without sacrificing his wit or punchlines. He manages to exude menace on “Crime Pays” and is full of swagger on “Everybody’s Talkin'”.
As usual, the guests bring down some songs and there are a few posse cuts on the album. Beat-wise the album is superb. It’s very much in the mid-’90s vibe of East Coast beats, kind of grimy, sampling familiar lyrics from other songs. And, of course, the beats contributed by the Beatnuts don’t disappoint.
God Connections may be tough to track down, but if you dig the Beatnuts or the artist formerly known as Fashion than it’s something you should have in your collection.