Buy the CD Ras aka Lil? Raskull - The Buzz Word: Forget What You Heard!

Let’s face it. Ras (aka Lil’ Raskull) has the deck stacked against him because of his association with defunct Grapetree Records. It’s not very flattering when the label’s CEO essentially says the product they put out was basically crap. In another review, I even made it a point of saying that I no longer liked artists like Ras. So, when I got his newest album The Buzz Word, I was prepared for the worst. But, Ras’ album couldn’t be further away from “the worst” if it tried. Bursting with tight lyricism, bangin’ beats, and top-notch production, The Buzz Word is one of the better rap albums I have heard, sacred or secular.   

The album opens with an intro where Ras talks about having promised himself that he would never again return to the rap game. But, return he has and it feels as if he is poised to sit atop the rap mountain for a while. Coming hard with that dirty south sound with vestiges of Xibit and Jermaine Dupri mixed in, Ras drops right into ‘He Ain’t Finished’ continuing the theme started in the intro by juxtaposing his own unfinished work in the genre and God’s own unfinished work in his life.  

‘Bank on That’ is a bit too braggadocios for me. Instead of bragging about money, cars, and women, Ras brags on how spiritual he is. He gives credit to God throughout the track, but it seemed there was a little too much room to credit himself as well. But, when he is giving to credit, the swagger that emanates from this number is pretty sweet.  

‘Keep Movin’ is a blazin’ track. Boasting a mid-tempo beat, Ras slows things down to Texas crawl while keeping the track banging from beginning to end. And the message is likely one the most intense evangelistic messages I have heard. Ras raps, 

The Titanic will arise before these dudes can surprise me/When God became a part of my life he super sized me/So I learned to see the world through his eyes/Standing tall on these dudes like I’m Grimace and they Fry Guys/And I ain’t full of myself and you can quote dat/Cause everything is done in his name because he wrote dat/I learned to live with my pain until he came and told me Ras pick your head up I love you so I’m fed up/The only way they gonna see Christ is through us/And I ain’t trying to be no weak poster fadin’ while they rain on us… 

‘Blow That Whistle’ is another sweet track that has a haunting synth violin that sounds like it could be off a horror movie soundtrack. It’s very haunting and the lyrics again have that Texas swagger that Ras is so comfortable with.  

At 18-tracks strong, The Buzz Word is a great album. Instead of the cheap Grapetree knock-offs of the late 90’s, Ras has stepped firmly into the new millennium with music that secular artists can take a cue from. As with any album, there are hits, misses (such as the shameless Eli promotion), and a few tracks that will simply come down to personal preference. There is the constant bravado that seems to permeate several tracks that seems more man-centered than God-centered. I could have done without that. But, it may be a matter of perspective, as confidence in Christ and what he can and has done is often confused for arrogance. But, overall, Ras has crafted a marvelous project and has convinced me that he still belongs in the game.

The Buzz Word is on sale now. 

Release Date: 2008

Record Label: Indie

Track Listing

  1. Intro
  2. He Ain’t Finished
  3. Bank On That
  4. Man Up
  5. PJ Props
  6. He’s Watching Over Me
  7. Keep Movin’
  8. Lift Him Up
  9. Give Us This Day
  10. Under The Influence
  11. Blow That Whistle
  12. Do Dem
  13. My Brother’s Keeper
  14. Soldier
  15. Snap Back
  16. Eli Spot
  17. Too Much
  18. Down South (Remix)