Since releasing his debut album Heavy Mental in 1998, Killah Priest has managed to establish himself as one of the most consistent, talented emcees in the game. His sixth solo album, The Offering (Good Hands), once again fulfills the lofty standards that Priest has set for himself
Although he is a veteran, Priest still sounds hungry and as determined as ever to retain his position in the pulpit of the underground. His ability to conjure haunting, vivid imagery has only improved with time, as evidenced by these bars from the self-titled opening track: It starts off I used to fingerpaint/While in class/The teachers ordered me to see a shrink /‘Cuz my craft/Was sorta different from the other students/For instance when I would color/I would cut my fingers, smear the blood/To describe a slain hustler. As he has done throughout his career, Priest kicks intelligent, creative rhymes, all the while dropping some serious knowledge.
However, one should not mistake consistency for monotony, as The Offering has something new to offer indeed: although Priest is more than able to carry an album by himself, one glance at the guest list will exhilarate even the most casual fans. Among others, Priest collaborates with Nas (“Gun 4 Gun”), Immortal Technique (“Standstill”), and of course, The HRSMN (“Inner G”). While the appearances from Nas and Technique are stellar, only Canibus sounds like he belongs in a group with Priest on “Inner G,” as Ras Kass and Kurupt drop uncharacteristically sub par verses.
For the most part, the production on the album, from the likes of 4th Disciple and Godz Wrath, complements Priest’s flow and lyrics very well. Sam Sneed drops by for a terrifying apocalyptic joint, “Till the Angels Come,” that might have scared even DJ Paul and Juicy J in the mid 90’s. While the beat selection is fairly accurate, the dark, hellish tracks would start to pile up and sound repetitive if not fortunately broken up by one or two heartfelt songs like “Happy,” which show Priest’s more vulnerable side while still showcasing his unique ability. The bottom line: if you consider yourself a Killah Priest fan, cop The Offering; if not, you really should check it out anyway.