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Falling Tsar
Artist: Falling Tsar
Label: Illect Recordings
Length: 10 Tracks / 33:45

Let's imagine for a minute you're tasked with throwing together a shortlist of skilled hip-hop artists for a benefit project. What names would you come up with?

A couple years back, a man by the name of Eric Place passed away. He had a dream of naming a musical endeavor "Falling Tsars". Turns out, shortly after his passing, his 8-year old son Mason came down with bone cancer. Turns out, Eric Place had a shortlist of skilled hip-hop artist friends, and those friends saw fit to do up a project called "Falling Tsar", all of the proceeds of which will go directly to Place's son Mason. Talk about moving in excellent circles.

The names of Eric Place's friends are Tunnel Rats & Deepspace5 pointman Sev Statik, and Scribbling Idiots' JustMe, Wonder Brown, and Theory Hazit. Call them Falling Tsar.

"Life is love, and love is a choice - a voice for Jesus is what we are.
Just know that we promised, in His name to be honest - not perfection, but direction."
(chorus of "What We Are")

Think of the Falling Tsar project as Scribbling Idiots, minus Cas Metah, and plus Sev Statik. Make an exception for track 2 ("Table of Content"), which features Cas Metah (HA!). For the rap fans, that should give you a pretty good idea of what you're getting into here. Production is primarily handled by Theory Hazit (who does up six of the project's ten tracks), with the rest of the production falling into the hands of other Idiots members. What seals the deal is distribution by Illect Recordings, who seem to be making a habit of putting out the freshest music of late.

On second thought, think of the Falling Tsar project as Illect Recordings does:

"We feel like God has given us an opportunity to use hip-hop to really make a difference." (

First things first, I have to give credit to Eric Plant for coming up with such a sweet name - Falling Tsar. Brings to mind images of Russian monarchs, the rise and fall of the Soviet Union, the Cold War, etc. The project's subject matter is heady enough to rise to the standard set by its name, as the crew moves through such issues as predatorial women ("Medusa"), deception and false love - with shoutouts to Judas and Cain ("Brotherly Love"), and the weight of representing Jesus faithfully ("What We Are"). It would be vain repetition to praise these emcees for their skill at wordplay - Sev, JustMe, Wonder, and Theory all possess the fire and grey-matter-crunching power to flood these tracks with wisdom, cleverness, and skillfull wordplay. Expect nothing less, because that's what the project is filled with. Best example offhand? That would be "Argue Believe", which features a complex piano loop that each emcee caters their rhyme scheme and pitch to match. 

So yeah. Plan to pick up this record. Expect memorable beats, fine rhymes, punchlines to the face, the Gospel, the freshness, deep bass, crisp hi-hats, and definitely your ten bucks worth. Until you remember it's a benefit project and all the money just went to a kid with bone cancer. Which makes it worth probably more than ten bucks.

I'll just be frank: Buy this record. Zero cents from your purchase go to pad the pockets of deserving rap artists, because they're passing it all on to honour the memory of their friend and give his kid a chance at life. 

You know those "buy the album early and get a free (insert random swag and/or threads here)" promotions? Yeah, this one is much better - "buy the album any time and help a kid survive bone cancer". 

Picking up the Falling Tsar project gives you the right to feel like "King For A Day," right along with track 10.

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Standout Tracks: Table of Content, Medusa, What We Are, Argue Believe, King For A Day.

Jerry Bolton 
April 13th, 2009


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