In what is the most insane rap album of 2003, Relm busts through with a city-themed album that I could actually understand. With the major amount of his tracks about Ohio or Columbus (Veteran’s Memorial, Buckeye City, O.H.I.O.), this album definitely approaches the high level of David Banner’s Mississippi or Outkast’s ATLiens. While the tracks are tricked out with bells and whistles enough to go up with the big dogs of the recording industry, the fact is still clear that Relm’s lines are clear, sharp, and tight as all get out. Relm can go through all sorts of melodies and tempos without making the disc seem choppy or too off-the-wall, as evidence by the transitions between the opening three tracks: “Buckeye City”, “Time Will Come”, and “I Don’t Know”. “Buckeye City” is the true opening to the disc, dropping names like its going out of style, “Time Will Come” is more the props to the city, in your face type of song, while “I Don’t Know” is more of the soulful, introspective type of song.
“All Nighter” has the sound of an early nineties joint, while we move onto the high point of the disc with “Which Way Is Up”, which benefits immediately with a killer faux-horn beat. Throughout this disc, we are assaulted time and time again by blazing lines, and the crew that Relm runs with. We have AA, Demo, and Mr. Kane, throwing on their lines at the proper time. At times reaching the level of even an R. Kelly (think “Fiesta”), Relm comes up with an adulterist anthem in “The Underground”. By far, “Veteran’s Memoral” definitely gets some of its high marks with the killer backbeat selection, with orchestral sounds that rival any production company. Running with delivery like Aesop Rock or Eyedea, Relm creates blazing trails in his “O.H.I.O.”, barely even giving himself time to breathe.
Copping off “Love Rollercoaster” by the Ohio Players, Relm brings in Shawn Anthony from the local rap station to make that one hot track that just screams “single” off “Veteran’s Memorial”. Overall, even with my poor experience with Columbus-area rap, I can say that Relm is at the top of the pile of rappers repping Central Ohio. Obviously, his beats are tighter and lines are better written than Lil Bow Wow, and just all-around better than John Reuben and Soul Position. Looking at a more national scene, Relm’s album could come out on any rap imprint, and sell millions of albums. People are making a big deal about nu-gangster rap (like 50 cent), but I believe that given a proper chance, Relm could put up comparable numbers to some rappers that have been around for a decent amount of time.
Relm – Veteran’s Memorial / 2003 F.U. Entertainment / 15 Tracks / http://www.fuentertainment.com / Reviewed 01 January 2004
Top Tracks : Time Will Come, O.H.I.O.