Hip Hop Album Reviews (07/2015)

Skill Of A Quitter

Skill Of A Quitter

Skill Of A Quitter
Skill Of A Quitter cover art

An album by Speciez

Review presented by Warren Peace

Listen to Skill Of A Quitter by Speciez.

Any artist(s) interested in having a review done should check out the offers provided by The Write Reviews or contact Warren Peace.


The Origin

Speciez was first introduced to me through a social media contact. Originally, I was introduced to The Fraternity, and Speciez was a member. Soon after learning of The Fraternity, Speciez dropped “Thoughts Out The Window Without A Parachute”, which was an impressive album in my eyes. After hearing that album, I have heard several songs with Speciez as a featured artist, some of which have made my Featured Tracks list. Speciez hasn’t made a personal album in quite some time until recently releasing Skill Of A Quitter. I decided to put Skill Of A Quiiter under the microscope and introduce Speciez to The Write Reviews.


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The Album

1- John Lennon

I can really dig this beat, a bit of a slower pace but still a touch of intensity. I liked the intro shout out. It’s something that isn’t done very often in music. Speciez takes on the track with an aggressive feel. He speaks about being an artist, having to worry about people coming after him, and the struggle to make music people appreciate and love. The chorus is catchy and fits the tone of the song entirely. Speciez is amazing at nailing the hook on a track, and John Lennon portrays that perfectly. In the second verse, Speciez continued speaking on the adversity of overcoming the odds that comes with creating music, while mentioning the feeling of being successful and having fulfillment. John Lennon is an incredible track and a great way to begin this album. The Featured Tracks list for Skill Of A Quitter will begin with John Lennon.

2- Skill

Another slower style with the rhythm on the beat, the instrumental for Skill doesn’t have the slight edge that accompanies the music for John Lennon. Still, the melody here is likely to get you moving and Speciez takes charge as soon as he comes onto the song. Immediately Speciez takes aim at other hip hop artists, questioning their integrity and challenging their lyrical skill. Speciez comes through on the chorus once again, capturing the essence of the song while giving the audience something to easily vibe with and relate to. Given the topic and angle in which Speciez attacked the instrumental, I figured he would give listeners a lyrical stampede on the second verse. Speciez didn’t, instead he elaborated on his first verse without giving us much more than an aggressive tone while spitting lyrics about being less than impressed by current hip hop artists. I would’ve loved to have heard a third verse, geared towards the battle style or calling out specific names of artists who are helping to water down hip hop. Despite my desires, Skill is a solid addition to Speciez’s latest album.

3- Crossfire

Skill Of A Quitter’s third song has an instrumental that compliments the two previous tracks with a calm vibe and an easy-going rhythm. In a way, Speciez begins Crossfire where Skill left off. Speciez calls out new artists in hip hop for not being creative and passionate in their music. He speaks about how he refuses to follow the pattern that mainstream hip hop has been putting out. Deviating from the typical hook, Crossfire includes some scratching and chopping of what seems to be live battle verses and uses that as his chorus. While Crossfire is more an extension of Skill than anything, Speciez does give the audience a little more direction behind the meaning of his lyrics. This is another solid addition to Skill Of A Quitter.

4- Bruce Lee

Without letting up, Speciez continues his tirade on the new artists of hip hop, but takes it a step further and to a higher level with Bruce Lee. The instrumental here continues the pace set by previous tracks, but brings back a bit of intensity, similar to the all around vibe of John Lennon. The difference here is how Speciez steps up with his wordplay and punchlines, aiming to give a dose of lyricism to the audience. While the hook on Bruce Lee may not be as catchy as choruses in earlier songs, it still brings the track full circle while holding the attention of Speciez’s listeners. Bruce Lee is more of what I expect from Speciez when I hear this type of song on his album. That being said, it’s an easy decision to place Bruce Lee on the Featured Tracks list.

5- Nighterlude

The title couldn’t say it better. With a jazz sound and laid back rhythm with the instrumental, Speciez injects an intermission, if you will, into the fifth slot on Skill Of A Quitter. Speciez touches on a couple different points in Nighterlude, but returns to the main message he has shared in every song on the album thus far.

6- Tough Love

We hit a change in direction, and just in time might I add. The beat here has a little more of a dance flavor to it, and the chorus is dubbed in with the instrumental. I haven’t talked much about Speciez and his lyrical flow over beats, mainly because he is so good and consistent in his delivery that it becomes an afterthought. Speciez is more than gifted when it comes to multiple syllable rhymes and using an extensive vocabulary. Mix those factors with his wide vocal range that compliments a delivery that’s never forced and you have a flow most emcees could only dream of having. Speciez displays this flow and much more in Tough Love, a song full of metaphors, imagery, and down to earth lyrics that both sexes of the human race are sure to appreciate. It wasn’t a hard decision to include Tough Love in the Featured Tracks.

7- Onyx In ’94

The intro to this track makes me laugh every time I hear. From beginning to end, this is probably neck and neck with Bruce Lee for my favorite song of the album. Showing respect to some of the veteran artists in the first verse, Speciez delivers a cool, crisp flow that matches his demeanor and lyrical content. On the second verse, Speciez takes aim at the newer generation of rappers once again, throwing punchlines while calling them out for not being passionate, studying their craft, and being unoriginal. While Onyx in ’94 easily makes the Featured Tracks list, Speciez is beginning to kick a dead horse (angle at new generation rappers) at this point in the album.

8- Success 

Once again, we have a slower paced beat with the same relaxed approach. Great vibes, but at this point it’s becoming redundant. Speciez speaks, again, about struggling to become successful in hip hop and how the newer generation of rappers talk a bunch of BS on songs while not being creative. At the end of this song, all I can say is this… Speciez, what’s up with the repeat topics?

9- Quitter

Quitter is a little different. Its straight to the point, a lot like the Nighterlude, and speaks more on Speciez’s feelings about putting time and effort into hip hop, but not feeling like he’s getting the love back in return. Oh, and he talks about how new age rappers dont deserve any props because…well, you get the picture. 

10- No Escape

I like the overall feel over this track. A slower paced beat once again, but the I can dig the rhythm and vibe. Speciez nails the chorus, showing off a little with his singing skills. Dropping emotional lyrics about his passion for writing and recording music, Speciez may have already touched on these issues earlier on the album, but he has not do so in this fashion. The different feel to the approach and the song as a whole is a lot more emotional and will probably be easier for fans to connect with. For these very reasons, No Escape will be the final song to hit the Featured Tracks list.


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 Featured Tracks

Desire, Bruce Lee, Tough Love, and No Escape.


The Write Up

I cannot sugar coat my disappoint for Skill Of A Quitter as a whole. Most of the album, from music to lyrics, sounded very similar. Instead of ten tracks, Skill Of A Quitter seemed like one big, long, continuous song about something nearly every rapper raps about. For what it’s worth, Speciez was still able to get quite a few songs on the Featured Tracks list, which should show his talent level considering the number of tracks and the repetitiveness of the album. Also, be aware I will be keeping watch for another Speciez album to drop. I feel there’s a lot more in store than Skill Of A Quitter reveals, and Speciez will find a way to show it all to us.


Star Status

★★.5

(2.5 out of 5 stars)


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Warren Peace writes...
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