Avarice – When Pawns Become Kings

Album Review

When Pawns Become Kings
Release date: April 14th 2017

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Avarice then familiarize yourself here with his Bio:
Originally hailing from Uniondale, New York, Avarice is an independent hip hop artist. His material can always be expected to be witty, lyrical, and to have a certain measure of authenticity that is currently (and unfortunately) rare in hip hop. He lists artists such as Nas, Mos Def, Ras Kass and Pharoahe Monch as some of his influences, and the same inclination of those individuals, as far as pushing the bounds lyrically and conceptually within a song, is shared by Av.
In the past Avarice has opened for acts such as Mobb Deep, the aforementioned Mos Def, and Shabaam Sadeeq. Recently he has released “Words And Sounds”, a six track EP, and followed that with his latest full length project, “When Pawns Become Kings”. Currently he resides in Waterbury, Connecticut, and is recording and performing with a CT-based collective of hip hop artists called the “Ninja Science Team”.

Now onto his latest album release:
When you drop your release on the same day as projects by Kendrick Lamar & Talib Kweli/Styles P, you have some serious competition in getting it noticed. All you can do is put out an album worth noticing. Avarice has done this by following up his “Words And Sounds” EP, released earlier this year, with “When Pawns Become Kings”.

Sometimes, if something is worth doing then it’s worth doing yourself. As Avarice explained to me he had to take this route when releasing the album. All the efforts reward any listener & should reward the artist.

When describing the general sound, the words “Jazzy” & “Boom-Bap” instantly spring to mind. On first listening I detected particular concept to the album, although mentions to subject matters such as racism, police brutality, poor vocal deliver of some rappers & of course, the vocal skills of the artist himself often appear in the lyrics. Then, after continuous rotation, it becomes clearer. It’s all about overcoming your struggles & the constant strive to do so.

For me this is an album strictly for the hardcore Hip Hop heads to bump loudly. No gimmicks, no preaching, just non-stop lyrical gymnastics. Some rappers attempt to spit 10 or more words in every bar & fail miserably. Not so with Avarice. Also, many a time he never pauses for breath when he raps & does so with ease. Clearly the man has no time for simplistic words & delivery, unlike the “Mumble Rap” that dominates the commercial airwaves.

High profile guest features give a boost to you as an artist. On this album it’s provided by Ras Kass on the track “96​ (​Quadriplegic Centipedes)”. You wouldn’t expect anything less than vocal excellence from the LA legend, but Avarice is equally adept verbally as he yet again proves.

When Pawns Become Kings
When Pawns Become Kings
Directed by: Zenith

The title track in my opinion should always be the standout joint, so I guess that’s why it got the visual treatment.
You can totally appreciate the concept & the album’s title after watching. No frill, just pure feeling & if you get that feeling too after listening, you’ll feel like Avarice does as well, like a King!!!

(Rashad Unique)

Preview the “When Pawns Become Kings” album here

Visit Avarice @ Twitter here
Visit Avarice @ Bandcamp here
Visit Avarice @ Facebook here

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