THE GODDESS AND THE PRIEST
An album by Bliss and Killah Priest
Review presented by Warren Peace
Listen to “The Goddess and the Priest” by Bliss and Killah Priest
During the discussion I had with female emcee Bliss about reviewing her collaborative album [myooz] with Glad2Mecha under the name U4US, we also spoke about a breakdown for The Goddess and the Priest, another collaborative album she put together with a well known veteran of hip hop, Killah Priest. The Goddess and the Priest was released before [myooz], which is something I should point out since The Goddess and the Priest is the last of the two albums to have a track by track breakdown at The Write Reviews.
I’m excited to find out what’s in store behind such an elegant title that could open many doors during the course of the album. Without further adieu, here is the breakdown of The Goddess and the Priest…
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1- U-n-I Verse
“U-n-I Verse” opens the album with a soft, calming melody playing in the background of an interesting and enlightening conversation mostly centered around spirituality. To anyone with an open mind and a thirst for knowledge, “U-n-I Verse” is an intriguing beginning to The Goddess and the Priestthat will keep the audience listening.
2- Luna See
The instrumental picks up the pace and delivers a sound that isn’t heard often in hip hop with cosmic effects that paint a picture of space behind the lyrics of Killah Priest and Bliss. Speaking of lyrics, the infamous Killah Priest spits the first round of bars. His flow is on time and polished with multiple syllable rhyme schemes and a deliberate delivery. He doesn’t hesitate to play off of the music with his words, integrating imagery that depicts the beginning to the end on different levels. A hook doesn’t divide the emcees on “Luna See”, just a short break from the vocals to allow the instrumental to thrive once again before Bliss steps up to the microphone. When Bliss’ lyrics hit the track, she performs one of the best, if not the best, verses I have ever heard from her. She sticks to the topic, shares knowledge, delivers an incredibly smooth flow, and is able to relay an astounding level of confidence next to Killah Priest, who is one of the most well-known, some would even say iconic, emcees to ever drop bars into a microphone. “Luna See” is a fantastic first actual track for the album and easily hits the Featured Tracks list.
3- Poisoned Arts
I’m reminding of a snake charmer’s hypnotizing sound when I hear the music for “Poisoned Arts”. Killah Priest has the first verse again, this time seemingly focused on a lyrical approach. While he makes a couple of references to civilizations of the past and other cultures of the world, the main theme behind the album feels forgotten. Still, he breezes through his flow with the assistance of well placed multiple syllable rhyme schemes and brings some clever lines to listeners during his round of bars. Theres no hook for “Poisoned Arts” either, which is something I feel isn’t a necessity for all tracks but is definitely a tool emcees should use to make a memorable connection with the audience. Bliss follows Killah Priest’s lead and goes in on the lyrical tip with her verse. While she holds her own in maintaining a well timed flow, a few of the emcee’s multiple syllable rhymes feel forced due to the way they are worded. Bliss does make more references to past civilizations and spirituality than Killah Priest did, which proves to me that she doesn’t want the idea behind the album to be lost behind a song centered around lyricism. Good for you, Bliss!
4- Rally Round The Crucifix
Even after listening to “Rally Round The Crucifix” several times, I find myself lost on the meaning or message of the track. Bliss begins the song with a couple of bars that she will return to during the course of her verse; each time she does the bars are mostly worded differently but the stanzas are similar enough that listeners will easily take notice. This is also the closest thing to a hook that I’ve heard on The Goddess and the Priest, as “Rally Round The Crucifix” is without a chorus like the tracks before it. Getting back to Bliss’ verse, the female emcee spits a load of multiple syllable rhyme schemes and flows smoothly throughout the verse in a timely manner. She references Christ, the crucifix, and different things related to that time period, but she also includes a few things from more modern times that feel completely unrelated. At first it seems she is painting a picture of Jesus on the cross, but the idea of that being the purpose of the song is lost shortly after the first few bars. She does display an incredible vocabulary during the course of her verse, which impressed me. A brief time where neither emcee spits and a couple random clips separates the versesof Bliss and Killah Priest. With just a little more than half the number of bars delivered by Bliss, Killah Priest concludes the song with his familiar flow of multiple syllable rhymes and confident delivery. He also makes several references to Christ and the crucifix, and also refers to things that aren’t directly related to either one. When the song is over, I am left with the feeling that Killah Priest’s desire and motivation is exhausted.
5- Beautiful Life
After a fantastic start to The Goddess and the Priest, and a less than mediocre middle section, the audience is given “Beautiful Life” as the song that concludes the album. Although listeners are given another slower style instrumental, this is the most hype sound found on the album. Killah Priest returns to the lead position and opens with a verse mostly centered around darkness. Bliss delivers the only hook found on the album, sharing a beautiful voice that feels underused the moment it’s heard. With the second verse, Bliss brings forth an extended vocabulary, multiple syallable rhyme schemes, and some imagery well written. However, the content of her verse doesn’t seem to match with Killah Priest’s and there doesn’t seem to be a message or meaning behind this track, either. Maybe I’m wrong and completely missing it, but after several listens I am not able to put my thumb on it and find it difficult to enjoy the song as well.
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THE WRITE UP
Being the writer who reviewed [myooz] and having the knowledge that The Goddess and the Priest is the first of the two albums to have been released, I admit that I expected to find Bliss’ performance at a roughly equal level to the one she displayed on [myooz]. However, one must remember that every album is different in many ways, which also means that an emcee can be vastly different from one album to the next. This proved to be true on The Goddess and the Priest, where Bliss proved to be extremely effective behind the microphone when it came to having a delivery of authority, confidence, maintaining a fluid flow, staying centered on the subject matter for the most part, and keeping a consistent level of performance. Killah Priest was able to do the same in those aspects, but with a feeling of comfort behind the microphone that any veteran of hip hop should have. Both emcees came together rather well in terms of style, sound, and the approaches chosen for the songs. If they worked on another album, I would hesitate to hit play to find out what the two emcees had cooked up together.
That being said, The Goddess and the Priest is an album that misses its mark. With a fantastic opening that raises a listeners expectations almost immediately, it takes a steady dive that is only picked up from its decline slightly when the final track comes through the speakers. Bliss and Killah Priest could have done so much based on the album’s title alone, yet they aren’t able to bring very much material to the table that an audience can relate to, nor are they pushing the enlightening material listeners can learn from that I found myself expecting after hearing “Luna See”. When everything is said and done, The Goddess and the Priest scores at the halfway mark of the Star Status, on the lower side of that halfway mark if I were to be more precise.
(2.5 out of 5 stars)
Bliss has also had her “[myooz]” album, as one half of U4US, reviewed on our site!
You can find Bliss on Facebook.