Chicago emcee, Philmore Greene, has been on a roll since releasing his classic 2018 debut album, Chicago: A Third World City. Releasing his just as amazing masterpiece album, The Survival Scroll. Just last December. Greene already released his third album, Knowledge and Power, back in April. Another socially conscious and thought-provoking album. Where just as you would guess from the title of the album. The Chicago emcee delivers plenty of knowledge and power through his rhymes to his ever-growing audience.
Starting with the very soulful opening track, Live from the Hideout. Greene shows why he’s not only arguably the best emcee in Chicago right now, but one of the best emcees in all of Hip-Hop. With such lines as, “I’m the best. Facts, face it.” Also adding, “This is Biggie and Hov at the Palladium. Silk shirts and Salmon colored slacks. When I’m gracing them.” That then perfectly segues into easily one of the highlights of the whole album and easily one of the best tracks on the album, All That I Know. Another very soulful record. That finds Greene bringing thought-provoking and conscious rhymes about the hood life being all that him and so many in the inner cities grew up knowing. Which taught them how to hustle and better themselves through not the best of circumstances or even the best of people. Such as the pimps, drug dealers and hustlers they would see on the streets. Moving into the soulfully jazzy flutes background of the Rasid Hadee-produced, Beautiful Picture 3. Another very standout track. That’s one of my favorite tracks and you can even argue is the best track on the album. With how beautifully and passionately it sees Greene rhyming and putting his all into the track. With such lines as, “Third time is the charm. Life is a blessing when you carrying arms. Precious. Study the lessons. Then pass the baton. Knowledge and power, live from the ghetto. Making it ours. I tell my bro, ‘I love him,’ Before I give him his flowers.” Lyrics so many of us can relate to. Or even lines such as, “When I die. They going to study all my pages. Written. Showing love to everybody, so I can say I did it. Rare form, Philly. Label me as one of the illest, living.” Just more examples of why Greene really is one of the illest emcees doing it right now. With the very soulfully amazing hook from Natasha Robinson. Making the record that much more beautiful and amazing too. The very soulfully and introspective, Manage Money (Black Man). Finding Greene giving knowledge and power to the black man about all that they have had to go through in history. Just to manage money the right way and do the right thing. Even how certain groups like the, Black Panther Party. Who were helping their people with free lunches and other programs to better themselves and their people. Where taken down and referred to as gangs. When they really weren’t and that wasn’t what they were all about. Storie Devereaux adding the just perfect spoken-word piece to end such a powerful and amazing track. That perfectly seguing into the very soulfully beautiful sample-heavy, Follow My Lead. That features a very soulfully amazing complimentary hook from Peter Jericho. As Greene raps so beautifully about all the knowledge people could pass on to others to be a great leader.
This album like his first two albums showing Greene’s very great ear for solid beats, sounds and content too. With Hadee just like his first album, producing all but one track. Showing once again the very undeniable chemistry they have together. Like so many other great emcee and producer combinations from Chicago. Such as Common and No I.D. or even Twista with The Legendary Traxster. As two examples. With their Greene and Hadee’s seamless chemistry being more akin to an updated version of Common and No I.D. With how they are so beautifully bring to the forefront for this generation their own very socially conscious raps and soulfully sampled great boom bap-inspired production.
Fellow Chicago native and a Chicago, as well as Hip-Hop legend, SC. Providing the lone track not produced by Hadee. With the very hard-hitting, BOLO. That’s easily the most aggressive and hard-hitting track on the album. That sees Greene bringing his all with some of the most hard-hitting and passionate heartfelt bars. That you are likely to ever hear. Greene sounding like an emcee just first coming into the game and giving it his all or a boxer in the ring. That’s giving his most hard-hitting punches to the gut to try to win a championship title he has fought his whole life for. That so many of us can relate to and why it’s not only my favorite track on the album. But I feel even arguably the best track on the album. Motivation being a common theme we see as we get towards the latter part of the album. With the next track. That’s appropriately titled, What’s Ya Motivation. A very soulful track that sees both Greene and his guest feature, Skyzoo. Giving some of the most motivational and inspiringly introspective bars you will hear. That we can all use more of hearing. With Skyzoo bars of, “My motivation is knowing I’m chasing the ghost that was waiting. From about the same steps where he sold dope on the pavement. You grew up near the best. You get a road to what great is. Whether 12, 12 skinny’s or what record sales could get me. I chose to see what a chart do. Open seats like a carpool. Truth over their chatter. Know ya reach, like a barstool.” Easily not only the best guest verse on the album, but one of the best verses of the whole album. That will have you asking and waiting for when the releaae date is. For Skyzoo’s very next highly-anticipated solo album, All the Brilliant Things.
The last three tracks of, Codename Sharpshooter, Cool Breeze and Restore the Feeling. Finding Greene continuing to give more introspective and thought-provoking rhymes. So many of us can use more of to expand our own knowledge and power of learning throughout life. That we should all try to expand and learn more of throughout not only music, but books, literature and other ways we can learn to better ourselves. With the Vic Spencer and Rashid Hadee featured, Cool Breeze. Easily one of the best and most standout tracks on the album. The very soulfully and introspective, closing track, Restore the Feeling. One of the more better and knowledgeable tracks to ever close an album. That we can all use more of too.
Overall just like his first two albums. Greene delivers yet another very masterful and timeless masterpiece album from beginning to end. That’s not only the best Hip-Hop album to drop so far this year. But one of the best albums across all of music to drop this year. While also showing why he’s easily not only one of the dopest emcees in all of Hip-Hop right now, but one of the most consistent as well. With his album an early strong contender for album of the year. That will definitely make plenty top albums of the year lists for a third straight year too.