Album review: 'Politics as Usual,' by Termanology

Patrick Varine

DJ Premier. Buckwild. Hi-Tek. Pete Rock. Large Professor. I don’t know who this Termanology guy is, but his production roster reads like the liner notes for the greatest mid-‘90s hip-hop album you never heard.

Turns out, so does the album, "Politics as Usual." Particularly welcome is the return of DJ Premier, who was last seen making half-decent beats for (wait for it …) Christina Aguilera. Primo just totally lays waste to 90 percent of modern rap with the three beats he contributes, rocking bells (“How We Rock”), horns (“Watch How It Go Down”) and those classic piano chops to have twenty-something hip-hop heads bobbing their heads like it’s 1994 all over again.

And that’s to make no mention of the main attraction. Termanology has a well-honed, battle-rap flow, and while his subject matter doesn’t stray far from detailed street scenes and smartly-crafted boasts, it’s plenty entertaining.

The highlights come quick and often: Buckwild drops a lazy horn loop for “Respect My Walk,” Large Professor smooths things out with some electric piano on “Sorry I Lied to You,” and Pete Rock drapes a watery guitar loop over “We Killin’ Ourselves.”

Too many East Coast rappers have resorted to the skittery hi-hats and synthetic feel of Southern bounce rap in the last few years, and it’s nice to see that there are still MCs out there who know that a nice dirty beat and a well-placed chop or two is just as potent as ever.

Listen to samples from "Politics as Usual" at

Sussex Countian