3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2006
Ok ras kass has gone through jumpy times, his debut was an underground classic. The first album "soul on ice" was lyrically elite and the atmosphere created was tremendous. But was critised for racist songs such as nature of the threat. The album is ras kass's most famous and most talked about.But commercialy it faultered.
After soul on ice 1996 it was dre influenced rassasination in 1998.Fnas wanted an album like soul on ice , but the label wanted a commercial ja rule last temptation type of album ...which was not in ras's mind[thank god]. But we had a nature of the threat lyrical elite track which was interview with the vampire.Ghetto fab was released and so was it is what it is. But not a very successful album , both underground and commercial.
Ok ras had major problems with his labels at this point, they wouldnt release van gough 3rd album, and that later changed to golden chyld also never released . These album are available on the net. So bad times for ras.
Then ras goes to prison and 2005 straight after release , he makes institutionalized , independantly after capital and priority label.
And it sees the light of day . The reult is great , you have one great album . By one of the most elite mcs in the game.
Great tracks on the album , if you find it , then buy it.
soul on ice is out of print aswell.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2009
If I was rating this album on lyrics alone - I'd give it 6 stars... but I think the production really brings this CD down. It's not bad, but Ras Kass is one of the greatest lyricists in hip hop and he deserves more. I know it's a mix CD, but it's really inconsistent from song to song. I feel like if he ( and so many other great lyricists ) kept their albums to just a few quality producers, you'd get stronger overall effort. If you like Ras Kass though, PICK THIS UP ( the lyrics alone are worth hearing ).
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2007
Love Rassy and is my fav emcee of all time but this was alright. I found that personally, his "Revenge of the Spit" mixtape has a longer play life with me. A handful of overall beastly tracks but most of the production was alright. Rassy delivers verbal venom as usual but we are waiting for the album with the whole package on the boards.
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2006
This is just not his best, Ras Kass has always been a great lyricist but i feel this is average by standards. For other artist this would be great but for him this is pretty average and if he is going to continue to have subpar production then he will need to come with the lyrical prowness he exhibited on soul on ice.
0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 7, 2007
Im a big Ras fan, ever since he dropped "Soul On Ice" I've been defending him and listening to his stuff
He's one of the best lyricist from the West, and a legend in the underground
In fact, he's solidified himself as the premiere lyrical genius from the West
However, as such I gotta call him out when his stuff is losing that touch that he had on his first joint
With that said, "Institutionalized" falls short of what Ras is capable of doing
First off, the beats are getting more and more commercial
As someone who started and has thrived in the underground, Ras should keep it real...
Most of "Institutionalized" has commercial beats, over commercial hooks
In addition, its got that wack R&B flavor to it...very much like your avg mainstream "rapper"
To your avg mainstream hiphop fan, that's fine, but true hiphop heads know that its not Ras' style
Although "Soul On Ice" had subpar beats, they made that album a classic, kuz instead of focusing on the beats, we listened and deciphered Ras' lyrics....the beats only complimented that dark and underground feel that the album carried
Therez about 3 or 4 songs that have good beats ("Expect Me" and "Shine"), the others are too commercial and boring
Second, too many guest artists...
I don't mind Krondon, Xzibit, and Crooked I who are real MCs
But when u got E-40, Killer Mike, Jellyroll, GUnit, and other wack artists...in addition to all the R&B singers, it screws up the image of an album
Not to mention, screws up Ras' style
Third, the subject matter
I've always been impressed with Ras' subject matter
He could spit about kicking with the boys, capitalism, car crashes, and just plain emceeing
But now he's imitating all the mainstream rappers
All the love joints that he has on this album take away his image he pushes in this album
In addition, he's focusing too much on the material posessions
We used to hear, from Ras, about how he could kill an MC with lines like this and that, but now we get how much money he gets, and his drinking, and f**king girls, and all that repetitive mainstream garbage
Ras is capable of making thought provoking music, I don't understand why he wants to focus on trivial s**t
Fourth and most importantly, his lyrics
For the most part, this album lacks Ras' legendary lyrics
His rhymes are too simple, too straightforward, and too mundane on "Institutionalized"
Im used to hearing Ras lyrics, that take you two or 3 times of repeating to understand (Ex: "Im walking on skulls, kuz Im two steps ahead")
It may be that he was pushing this joint out too fast, but this album leaves u wanting the Ras of old
To sum it up: any Ras fan that has "Soul On Ice" and has heard of "Goldyn Child" or "Van Gogh" or his old, early stuff will be disappointed
To new Ras fans, they'll be delighted
Half of this album is good, the other half bad
Nothing insane or amazing on this one
Best song: "Shine"
Best lyrical song: "Expect Me"
Best beat: "We run the streets"
Worst: Half of this album