Upper Echelon was an album, according to Team DAR creator (and HS member) True God, that was fifteen years in the making. HS, comprised of the aforementioned True and fellow DAR compatriot Shokus Apollo, takes concepts of religion, love, society and more and turns them on their heads thrice before clean kicking them off (just as DAR does). But, is the album as GOAT as my biased opinion would suggest? I'm here to give my unbiased opinion in this 300 Words or Less Review
It starts off utilizing a sample of dialogue from the Dungeon Family describing their style. This is especially fitting since DAR positions itself as a new-era Dungeon Family. From that sample onward, listeners are given that classic "Circa '94" feel, while still having modern sensibilities appeased to. There is no greater example of this than the HS/DAR posse cut “End of the Road.”
“Road” utilizes a Dilla-esque chop of a Marvin Gaye sample aided by modern boombap drums. On this track, all four members of Team DAR flow effortlessly to stake their claim to the oft-clichéd Hip-Hop Throne. Featuring possibly some of the most random Street Fighter-tinged lyrics from yours’ truly, “Road” also highlights the beauty of Upper Echelon.
It started as an album which came from nothing. So, there weren’t any lofty goals set; True and Apollo just sat down and started flowing. And it was gloriously free. When they were done, they’d actually recorded close to 30-40 tracks. One of these days, some of those may release. But, until then, just enjoy your journey to the Upper Echelon.
Sorry, I had to.
Final Verdict: Buy (not just because it's #DARBusiness, but because it's actually a good album)