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I wouldn’t insult Eternia by stating the obvious and referring to her as “one of the best female emcee’s in the game,” as unfortunately to many this would put her on par with the likes of Nicki Minaj; Eternia ranks with the hip-hop underground’s most elite, and delivers some of the rawest and hardest-hitting rhymes that I’ve heard from anyone this year, regardless of gender, race or nationality.

Recorded over the past two years between Toronto and Queens, the album is a pure boom-bap hip-hop record; fellow Canadian, MoSS provides a consistent soundscape which compliments the very confident and at times aggressive flow of Eternia, as well as providing emotive elements when necessary.

For the first third of the album, Eternia establishes her dominance and talent as an emcee with a lyrical onslaught that seems to be designed to erase any pre-judgments they might have made about her, before moving on to more introspective tracks that seem a lot more unique and well written. The album isn’t particularly innovative or groundbreaking, however this is a skillfully created boom-bap record; solid in its construction and cohesion, it is successful in what it aims to do.

At Last plays like an auto-biographical documentary with Eternia providing a first-person voice-over on snapshots of various aspects of her own real life. There is no question as to whether Eternia is exaggerating or faking elements in order to appear more raw or real, this is undoubtedly genuine. She speaks with emotion but without compromise on both good and bad experiences. The skillful delivery, authenticity and the variety of relatable subject matter means that this album is a lot more substantial than your average hip-hop release yet remains entertaining throughout.

-Grant Brydon

Comments

  • Flip Wilson

    uh, i producer albums have been back in vogue for a few years now, JiE.

    Murs & 9th
    Marco Polo & Torae/Ruste Juxx
    Freeway & Jake One
    Obie Trice & MoSS
    TRUTHLiVe & Jake One
    Em & Dre
    Poet & Primo
    Madlib & Guilty Simpson/Strong Arm Steady
    Oddisee & Trek Life
    Kev Brown * LMNO
    Nottz & Rah Digga
    Pete Rock & Smif N Wessun

    this album is pretty good. but she’s a chick. unfortunately that’s a bad thing in hip hop.

  • Bigg Russ

    @ Flip, no dis to your, but the only unfortunate thing in hip hop is its close-mindedness to GREAT female emcees. Eternia is classy, skillful, thoughtful and charming. She’s the anti-thesis to the nonsense that is Nicki Minaj. Eternia would rip many male emcees who ‘think’ they’re dope too.

    Dropping a clever metaphor here and there, in between curses, does not a dope rapper make.

    At Last is EASILY one of the best rap albums of 2010. Respect due…

  • Dagwood Bumstead

    Good review, I really liked the production on this album. It complimented Eternia’s lyrics flawlessly. These two worked hard at fusing together these 2 art styles and making them coherent for the listener. Very few cooperative efforts work out like this, even with successful producers in the mainstream it becomes a hit or miss. This album overall hits the mark. One of the few albums of the year I can listen to without skipping tracks. Kudos to Moss and E for a great record and I hope to seem them collaborate again for future projects.

    I also agree it’s borderline insulting to call Eternia the best ‘femcee’ out there. Because in reality…she could destroy a lot of male rappers out there. She’s overall one of the better lyricists making records, both underground and mainstream. Keep em coming.

  • Support

    Thanks to OKP for supporting an excellent release and true talent!

  • Flip Wilson

    @ bigg Russ.

    eh. she’s a bit too excitable. her video made me cringe from her douchey rap moves. i feel like Invincible, in all her dyked out glory, would onliterate Eternia.

    all in all, i do like this album. but lets not pretend female MC’s aren’t somewhat of a novelty. no misogynist.

  • Flip Wilson

    *obliterate

  • MC King SoloMonn

    Wow Grant Brydon, are you ever being generous here. Were you paid to say this? or are you that foolish? Sorry to be rude, but you went way over the top on describing this release. Agreed with you on the Big Boi release, but can’t with this one, and I think most people will agree with me.

    I would venture to bet that Eternia has several people around her that agree with everything she says. These people also love everything she does, tell her how good every song is (regardless of the song), say yes to her all the time, and give nothing but positive critique. This type of behaviour is destined to fail since the artist will never know they are doing something wrong or releasing poorly made music. Sorry, but that doesn’t cut it with me. To evolve as an artist you must accept harsh critique to get better and not take anything personally. I believe this to be the case, I could be wrong but my suspicion tells me it is. I’ve seen it time and time again with artists.

    On to the tracks. I downloaded the entire release and have to admit, I am in no way impressed or blown away. The production is only semi-decent, nothing fresh here, far from innovative and outdated big time. Might as well been a non progressive beat from mid to late 1990s done up with fruity loops. Poor poor poor production on the song “At Last”, anyone that is a creative producer will tell you this. I in fact would never even release a beat like that, let alone a video. It showcase poor skills in the innovation & creativity dept. Putting money into producing a video for this song is simply ridiculous. A video that virtually no one will see, is a waste of time and money. But this video on MTV or BET, etc.. and it won’t survive. Bad bad business error on that track.

    Lyrical it’s just just ok yet it just doesn’t grab the listener’s attention. The flow is down right boring, predictable and ancient, nothing innovative there, and that’s where I give this a 3/10. It fails on lack of originality big time. Once I was done hearing the entire release, I was saying to myself ‘what’s the big deal’, so what, etc.. It’s rather forgettable.. That’s not to say some female MC listening to this won’t be inspired, yet it was just another underground release to me, nothing remotely special.

    I do think Eternia is a talented MC, it’s obvious, my critique is that she lacks direction big time. Likely too many people agreeing with everything she says, thus she never thinks anything she does is bad. That’s a career killer in this industry. Major labels would pass on this, you simply can’t sell what she is offering. I’d be shocked if it even sells semi well in the underground. You can’t bump this in clubs, and most ‘dudes’ would never buy it.

    Eternia: take the time, do something musically spectacular before you are judged on mediocre music.

  • MC King SoloMonn

    After reading other comments, I must conclude that these are friends of Eternia or Moss or don’t understand creativity that well. Absolutely astonishing the praise.. To call Moss’s production on point is a outright lie, to call this ‘easily one of the best rap albums of 2010′ is simply ignorant. To call it ‘the dopest album of 2010 to date’ is something a best friend would write. Please stop, before it becomes laugable.

    I give praise when praise is due, but come on folks, stop sugar coating things.

  • BigDaddyEv

    I completely disagree with Solomonn.
    Dude have you ever heard of ad hominem?

    Right off the tops she get mad credit for the Any Man track.

    I love the boom bap production, if that’s what you want to call it. I love grimy and authentic production, especially the soulful stuff. Goodbye, a great example.

    Introspection, swagger, artistically authentic (which means not rephrasing the mainstream hip hop canon – artistic not rhetorical), consistent, and not over sexual.

    I can completely respect a woman who pumps music and lyrics and doesn’t take a bunch of shortcuts selling her sexuality. And I LOVE women for the record, LOVE them.

    So rock on lady, rock the f*ck on!

  • MC King SoloMonn

    BigDaddyEv – Yes, I’ve heard ‘Any Man’ and just listened to it again. Yeah, it’s ok, but just ok in my opinion. We must have extremely different theories as to what is considered good in current & progressive in modern production.

    Although I don’t mind the production in this track, it’s dated and lacks several elements. If one likes it, then one likes it, I can’t influence anyone’s preference. I suppose it is what it is, but her skills should be showcased with much better production and arrangement.

    Eternia can go in one of a few very different directions. For the underground, sure, if that’s what an artist wants, this stuff cuts it. Yet, if she wanted to emerge as an MC that supplied songs to the commercial market, it’s not happening. I do think she has the ability and skill to do so, but that would require much greater effort in the production.

    Other than her flow which I don’t really like, she has great lyrics, it’s obvious. If she can somehow arrange her lyrical content in a more innovative way, with better production, she’d advance further in this game. Infact I greatly criticize the production a lot more than anything else. The same old repetitive loop type sound is boring to me, and the song ‘Any Man’ contains that vibe.

  • MC King SoloMonn

    And by the way, I don’t care if mr.Moss is getting great aclaim for his production work. I’m simply not impressed at all. Maybe he has better stuff, I don’t know, haven’t heard too much from him. Either way, it doesn’t hurt to toss in a few live instruments and other influences to break up the monotony of that late 90’s /early 00’s sound which has been done to death.

  • Flip Wilson

    MoSS is serviceable. he’s better now than he was 5 years ago. he’s a C List producer.

  • MC King SoloMonn

    Flip Wilson – How do you define a ‘C List producer’ ?

  • MC King SoloMonn

    Was talking to an A&R guy today (that I will leave nameless) and asked him to listen to a bunch of these Eternia songs & get an opinion.

    His conclusion was very similar to mine. He mentioned that if Eternia were to hook up with say Timbaland for example, she would be be elevated to another level, and likely have a career. I would tend to agree. She needs to work with seasoned pros who know the craft.

    With her, it will all come down to direction & production, which I believe is severely missing here. Moss’s work doesn’t cut it whatsoever, average at best.

  • Flip Wilson

    dr dre/Rza/The Neptunes – A List

    Ayatollah/DJ Spinna/9th Wonder – B list

    M Phazes/MoSS/Khrysis – C List

    a loose interpretation.

  • Ambalamps

    MoSS a C-level producer? Whose cah carin’ your apps?

  • MC King SoloMonn

    Flip Wilson – If that’s the case, then I would classify Moss as a D level producer.

  • Flip Wilson

    can someone explain to me what ambalamps just typed?

  • Flip Wilson

    MoSS could be D List upon further review. and that isn’t a terrible knock on him.

  • MC King SoloMonn

    Flip Wilson: True.. certainly not a knock, but there is room for improvement. The best producers are usually also well seasoned musicians.. unfortunately in this day & age some rely strictly on software and sampling exclusively. Not sure if that’s the case with Moss, but it’s obvious what’s missing in his craft.

  • Grant Brydon

    I try to write as positively as I can when I’m reviewing, and I genuinely thought this album was dope. Admittedly its not the most creative album ever, but it is well written, cohesive, well-produced (i know a lot of you disagree, but i enjoyed it and this is my opinion) well delivered and I could only really fault it on originality. But I think there is still space for this kind of record in hip-hop, sometimes its good to hear someone still making solid boom bap records. Honestly though, everyone has their own opinion, I know a lot of people who like this record and a lot of people who don’t, i liked it so therefore I gave it a good review.

  • MC King SoloMonn

    Grant Brydon – I certainly respect your opinion, and thought you were on point with the other two reviews (Big Boy, Reef), however when you say things like “Eternia ranks with the hip-hop underground’s most elite”, it doesn’t take an individual with great knowledge in the underground to know this is a huge stretch of opinion. It’s statements like that which water down the honest review of an artist.

    By saying that I can only assume that you are placing her among the greatest underground artists of all time. Sorry man, I don’t buy this at all. Eternia may be a good artist yet this release in no way portrays her within the elite. And I shouldn’t have to point this out.

    This being on Okay Player I am fairly surprised that you actually made that claim. That’s something I would expect on some sort of website message forum. I hope we aren’t differing based on the semantics of the definition.

  • Grant Brydon

    I think that to be honest I may have chosen my words badly. What I mean’t by it was that she can do a track with people like Reef and Termanology, and she doesn’t stand out, she can fit in amongst these artists, whereas artists like Nicki Minaj would obviously really stand out… I do however stick by the rest of what I said in the review.

  • MC King SoloMonn

    Grant Brydon – Point taken, yet I disagree with your assessment of this artist on many levels. Among hiphop artists out there, Eternia is a good/average artist, not a great one. There is a huge difference between these two classifications on an MC. This release will be long forgotten quick. Mark my words.

    It is most certainly not a “skillfully created boom-bap record”, and far from “solid in its construction”. How can it be “more substantial than your average hip-hop release” when that’s exactly what it is?? and when you say “it remains entertaining throughout”, absolutely not. I was overly bored while reviewing this release. It did not grab my attention.

    She has the skills to make a good release, this one isn’t it. Due in part to the production & the vocal arrangements. Mostly the production.

  • Cokanutz

    I just saw Eternia perform this pass Sunday at Rocksteady in Newark. She is in the category of undergound hip hop, so she is cool, but she was not hot. She’s al right. I wouldn’t buy her album, though. Now Homeboy Sandboy, he set it off!

  • lids

    After hearing this album, MoSS is my favorite producer in the game! Eternia…..meh

  • Trentin

    Not sure why the release is called “ETERNIA & MOSS” , looks like Moss wanted his name out there for some reason to promote his lack luster production skills.

    This release should just have “ETERNIA” as the artist, not Moss. The producer should never be showcased like this, it takes away from the artist.

    I bet this was Moss’s idea. Take note Eternia, this is not a good concept.

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