Album Review by Jake Sabers
“World building” is a term referring to things a director would do to create a world that encapsulates a story, a place for the story to exist, grow, and breathe. Apollo Brown plays the director and Che’ Noir is the brilliant actress that brings the story of As God Intended to full fruition.
The production on this album is some of Apollo Brown’s best. He is the perfect producer to capture the feeling of working-class city hip hop. Detroit shares many similarities with Buffalo, two cities whose industrial ages are finally meeting humanity. The collaboration fits perfectly. This is a sample-heavy record. If that’s the type of hip hop you enjoy most, this album is a great addition to your collection. I can’t get over how well the drums are mixed; every element sounds full with a bit of warmth, and just enough grit to give it some punch through your speakers.
This is my first time ever actually listening to Che’ Noir. I feel a bit ashamed about not discovering her earlier because we’re from the same city. After hearing this album, I want to fill my collection with as much of her material as I can get my hands on. I’m a big fan of Jean Grey and Psalm One, but I think Che’ is out here setting the bar higher.
The opening track, “Anti-Social,” gives you a heavy piano sample and a soulfully-sung hook. Once the mood is set you get hit with reminiscent bars, stories of caution, and a velvety hook about past struggles. I like albums that open like this. You get a really great sense of what you’re in for musically. One of the things I personally love about this album is its consistency. Too many times an artist will have a few tracks at the beginning of their project that will hook you in, but then the material gets weaker as the album goes on. Che’ Noir gets better and better with each track.
“Hustlers Don’t Give” is probably my favorite feature on the album. If your a fan of hip hop, you know that Black Thought never disappoints lyrically and musically. On the album, these two make a perfect team, delivering weighty bars, creating a sonic melee that you’d be hard-pressed to find examples of on current radio playlists. As God Intended evolves over its 14-track length; it ages well. Every song is handcrafted with dedication and love for the culture.