If prophecies are meant to come true, Brainstorm, one third of Dyme Def, is destined for success. While the Seattle trio is looking to establish themselves as solo artists, Brain released The Celestine Prophecy early 2012, which basically serves as an appetizer for what he delivers with the second installment. The EP was like showing off that he can make good songs on his own. The Celestine Prophecy 2 steps it up a whole notch by providing the whole package: an ear for thumping production, lyrics that don’t get overshadowed by the beats and the quality of crafting an album sounding album as opposed to an mixtape sounding album.
Despite being a producer himself, Brainstorm has never opted for self-producing his own project entirely. It could easily work since he’s a known great producer from the Dyme Def days, but TCP2 works well because of the diversity that even he couldn’t achieve on his own. Trox lays the foundation for “Brawler Music,” a record that came out last year as a random leak but received great praise for the hard-hitting lyricism. He spits memorable lines like “put my balls on her chin, call that bitch Peter Griffin” over the electric guitar heavy production. “No Apologies” and “Addicted” are two of the most Mainstream sounding songs on the album. They both feature production from Bleak with a catchy melody and hook in addition to a pair of concepts about not giving a damn and the addiction of a woman respectively.
However, electrifying production and no lyrical content is a common but unsatisfying combination within hip-hop. Thankfully, Brainstorm doesn’t disappoint. There’s not many on the album that can spar with him and keep up but Fatal Lucciauno proves he can on “I Know.” The chemistry between the two places batteries in each other’s back when dissecting the lines. Fatal raps, “trapped in a mentality/ fuck the world, crush your girl, punish those who battle me” as his opening bars. It only gets vivider from there. Carl Roe, the album’s only other guest, makes sure to leave an impression with his energetic verse on “Oh My God.” His play-on Brainstorm’s name line was a little corny on the surface but deeper and amusing thinking about it.
In addition to stand-out lyricism, the concepts are great too. “Dear Sprint” is for the every-man who hates their phone company no matter what service they’re with, and that’s a big portion of Americans. He tosses Sprint under the bus in a pundit way, complaining and rhyming about the wait times to get customer service, crappy phones and his high bill. Then, Brainstorm gets hilariously disrespectful on “I Don’t Want Even You,” where he raps about the ugly friend of a fine woman. At one point, he makes it known that he didn’t want to feed her anyways and even keeps her outside waiting in the car for her friend over two hours as the two go at it in the crib. “No Apologies” is a great song to rap along to, due in part to the infectious Wiz Khalifa singing-esque hook. Another thing about these concepts is how relatable they are to listeners.
Being solo has only increased Brainstorm’s hunger. As a part of Dyme Def, there were three members, so it was more restricted to one verse from each on most songs. Luckily this solo trek is helping each artist make a name for themselves outside of a group. The Celestine Prophecy 2 was the perfect follow-up to his 2012 EP and a great debut album. It showed that he can rock on a number of different beats from all kinds of producer and more than impress lyrically. The best part is knowing that he’s really just warming up.
Purchase: Brainstorm – The Celestine Prophecy 2