Ital Santos’ last record Reflections was a retrospective on many of his greatest beats in the form of a memorable instrumental long play- his newest is Perception and sees him taking off the producer hat to rhyme and vocalize over a new set of beats fully produced by Big Mason.
On “Snakes Part 2” Ital delivers some of the sharpest flow he’s ever exhibited while he goes on to dissect his ideas about deceitful half-friends in the community- “ I always show you love now tell me why you hating on me?” Cuda delivers a scorcher as always over the menacing piano cut.
The album’s songs have intermissions with tales of Mexican immigrants and their struggles in America. The theme adds a sense of perspective- Ital laughs and says “just playing” at moments of rapper excess, while the stories of travelers and their travails with our border adds to the idea that some of the things we obsess about aren’t that important. Whether it’s the XXL rookie list or the latest thing Kanye said- Santos recognizes that the way people perceive what is valuable is skewed.
Santos vocalizes about modern love on "Last Date", Slick-C and Edubb enliven the posse cut “Conchas” which creeps and bumps like an early 90’s West Coast cut. The claps will take you back. “Stop” bangs with hard guest bars from Azma and expert scratching from Mando the DJ. As you trip out faded to the synthy Intermission outro, ponder on how Perception rhymes with and shadows Santos’ last record, Reflections, in which he produced an entire instrumental album in contrast to Perception where he raps entirely on beats by Big Mason.
Having listened to Santos’ music, Reflection and Perception are appropriate concepts in which to categorize his musical proclivities- Santos the rapper is perceptive about how people live while the producer angle is more reflective and melodic. Step into the other side with Perception.