Twitter: @MatthewMaticus Impressed with the amount of professionalism Matthew Maticus showcases, I was eager to listen to this project. Even before I pressed play, I noticed an EPK that I’m appreciative of especially as a blogger; giving an in detail description of what each song truly means. A rarity in hip-hop is what describes a work ethic such as Matthew’s. Taking the initiative necessary to stand out amongst the vast sea of Cleveland artist, is well acknowledged and appreciated by not only me, but all other lovers of music. Showing your personality with your words outside the music is what makes this project personal like he’s directly, “praying a six song prayer for his soul” right in front of you. The Sanctified Tape starts off with a reverb dream-like instrumental; a spacey vibe that could be better described as a wavy experience. Although one of my favorites off of this extended play, I do have a certain gripe which is a common vexation I struggle with throughout this project. Some of the lyrics and hooks flood this tape in a sea of amateurism. The lyric “… I’m cold as fuck not posed’ to say fuck but what the fuck”, and the chorus in the song RTA is quite laughable. Now I am not an unreasonable man that only appreciates lyrics rather than feeling. On the contrary, I am very fond of artist such as; A$ap Rocky, The Internet and I dare say Migos. Their primary goals aren’t to get you to think, or communicate to its audience a social issue; it’s more of a “feeling process” which they deliver well whether it be atmospheric, funk, or even trap. However, when the whole point of a song/tape is to cover heavy topics, and the artist isn’t able to lyrically deliver, it kind of makes the tape unconvincing. An upside is the song “Heads Up”. A soulful sped up sample based instrumental that reminds me of a post Blueprint Kanye West beat. Matthew’s hunger shows in this song as he passionately talks about his yearning for success and the tenacity he possess to get to where he wants to be. He also successfully touches on the struggles of living in America dealing with the heavy weight of bills, single mother homes and the cost of college tuition. The flow he uses in this song is very nostalgic, reminding me of a early Jay-Z or Ghostface. A lot of the beats on this tape is what makes this project stand out. Most of the beats are very soulful with 70s samples and boom bap kick drums and snares. The Sanctified Tape contains very bass heavy kicks that will bump through your speakers and headphones, much like “Wu Tang Clan Aint’t Nothin to Fuck With” especially with the “Bobby (Is My Cousin)” track. The snares are very natural and seem untouched with mixing and the samples are looped perfectly and ON TIME. Matthew does a good job of finding beats that flows to make one whole project that doesn’t seemed forced or just thrown together. Overall I think “The Sanctified Tape” is a pretty solid project, nothing to make me jump out of my seat, but nothing to make me not enjoy the highlights as well. 5.5 / 10 Review by Ezekiel Parker nominate banner ifc Nominate I'm From Cleveland as the "Best Media Outlet" for the Ohio Hip Hop Awards. Click the image above to learn how! It's quick and easy.