Tampa Bay newcomer Asaru proved he could hang with the scenes top emcees on his sophomore effort “All Praises Due”, delivering the city an 813 Essential Album, during one of its darkest times.
2020 was a rough year for everyone and that can be felt throughout this project. In a way I am sure these songs acted as therapy to help the listener but also the man himself get through life’s struggles.
The project starts with “Amen”. News footage is played depicting the rise of COVID, the death of George Floyd, and other major moments that happened in 2020. Being from NYC, Asaru has a great voice for Hip Hop. That sound is really missing in Tampa Bay and I am glad he is adding that flavor to our growing melting pot. Bars and flows are mad on point, he’s spitting the truth but it doesn’t come off as lyrical miracle. Once the 808s kick in towards the end, we get a little Down South flavor.
“Pray” features a piano laced beat with hard hitting production. Asaru is a very relatable emcee. Everyone needs a prayer sometimes. The hook could come off corny in the wrong hands but Asaru pulls it off with ease. With the odds stacked in his favor Asaru is able to overcome all the obstacles.
“Need Sun’n” is a certified banger. I really dig his interpretation of “Ha”. Once he spits “Oh it’s lit”, bro just goes crazy over the beat. Asaru hands down has one of the best flows in the game once he hits that pocket. Some could feel Asaru comes off as preachy on some tracks, but he’s just spitting that real talk.
The title track “All Praises Due” brings Asaru back to his Boom Bap roots, and I’m all here for it. Hard hitting beats and even harder bars. I feel down the road this is gonna go down as one of Asaru’s classic records.
“Underdog” is for anyone coming from the bottom. The flute based sample adds a bit of a bop feel that works as a nice change of pace at this point in the album. One of my favorite hooks on the project. Really dope way for the beat to just ride out.
The “Hallway” interlude puts a lot in perspective, allowing Asaru to gather his thoughts.
“Everyday” featuring Michaela Paladio and DJ Sandman is a Tampa Bay Classic at this point. From the scratching of Sandman, to Michaela providing those nostalgic vocals. Asaru pretty much gives us a slice of life in one song. Amazing record showing love to both his old and new home.
The project ends out on the melancholic “Look What He Did / Amari”. More thought provoking lyrics from Asaru, contemplating money and fame with a simple life. Asaru sees his true potential, and will continue to strive to be the best. Yo that beat switch at the end is a moment foreal. The last few bars are a shout out to his younger brother, making the album feel a bit more personal.
With the 1 Year Anniversary of this project just passing I wanted to show it some love. Asaru is really carving out his own lane in the Tampa Bay scene, showing that you can come from the outside and still make shit shake, if you got the bars and bravado to back it up.