All hail the god emcee! Stogie T finally delivers on his promise to share his much talked about Honey And Pain brilliance. The 10 track mixtape is a canvas painted with the good, the bad, and the ugly that co-exist in every day life. As explained by the man himself, this mixtape is about panning across different scenarios of life through the music.
From the opening track, Purgatory, T fuses the ideas of innocence with that of a sinful world by having a brilliant young poet in the opening to prelude his potent bars. A familiar Honey And Pain now swings in sporting Mike Classic's infectious vocals and even though we've heard this piece before, it doesn't get old. As this mixtape plays on, you come to appreciate Stogie T's ability to not only paint vivid pictures with his every lyric, but also his effortless gift of taking you to where he's writing from emotionally. Lucille Slade and Jay Claud3's appearances on Reckless and Rapture do just this to your heart. Sampling Anita Baker's Caught Up In The Rapture, similar to what Reason did on Top Seven, Stogie T recites tales of starting from the bottom with his art and now living in a world where his efforts are somewhat unappreciated with intentions of getting into the game now being questionable. This is by far my favourite song on the tape, after Side Chick of course - but we'll get there.
Not that he needed to announce it, Big Boy Raps, sees him take a moment to himself as he "talks his sh%" rapping about matters of relationships between men and women these days. Describing multiple scenarios under the sun, Stogie T is plugged into the shenanigans that rule the type of personal interactions our generation is having with each other on a daily. While you're still nodding your head to his points, the Numbers Game with arguably the only emcee in our generation that could possibly go toe-to-toe with T, YoungstaCpt. This is a rapper's tune, although packing with social commentary about inequality which is perfectly sealed off with the insert towards the end.
One thing that sticks out about this mixtape is Stogie T's impeccable choice of voices to accompany him on the tracks. As J Molley's dreamy hook skills take over Pretty Flower, you can't help but applaud Stogie on his deliberate vocal selection throughout the tape. You get a dose of that conviction when Side Chick featuring Ayanda Jiya and Rouge plays. Ayanda's hypnotic, yet possessive hook will have you in your feels as T narrates the attachment of someone who was meant to be a side dip ends up being more than what he can give. In her brilliance, Rouge seamlessly embodies the voice of the side chick who reasons with herself, then him, finally realising that she actually played herself. YIKES! Stogie's ability to take you places you've never been with the sheer flick of his pen is glorious. Almost wrapping up the tape, Johazardousburg reminds me of his 2012 Othello Burning piece, Cold World. Somehow, Stogie does it again giving you the gruesome lowdown of life in the city of gold. For lack of a better reference, kuyany**a lana. Finally, he closes off the project with the familiar 15 minute track, God's Eye. What a journey.
Stogie T is the GOAT okay? The cadence never tires with this gent. Honey And Pain is a breath of fresh air for one's soul in an era where the music is fast paced, often too loud, commonly devoid of any relatable material, and widely disconnected from real life. Even though "Stogie T" embodies a luxurious life, the poet emcee proves that the raps will never take a day off no matter what you call him. Here, let your soul be fed, eat to your heart's content: