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Realms N Reality
Cella Dwellas
Realms N Reality
Genres: Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop, R&B
  •  Track Listings (16) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Cella Dwellas
Title: Realms N Reality
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: RCA
Original Release Date: 3/26/1996
Release Date: 3/26/1996
Album Type: Explicit Lyrics
Genres: Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop, R&B
Styles: Gangsta & Hardcore, Pop Rap, Soul
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 078636652122, 078636652115, 078636652146

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CD Reviews

That real hip hop
(5 out of 5 stars)

"phat for real. if u like that underground sound u like cella dwellas. i like the beats alot and they got rhyme-skillz too. I think their new album could be out pretty soon too. They are some of my favourite artists."
"I have food, shelter, and my girl, but I still fantasize...
ctrx | 'bout to show you how the EAST COAST rocks... | 03/16/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The Brooklyn duo Cella Dwellas first appeared on a Masta Ace b-side and released their debut "Realms `N Reality" in 1996. "Realms `N Reality" is a criminally underrated album that slipped under the radar upon release but is in my opinion among the best records of its period. The LP is aptly titled--the 16 tracks are split between mystical, abstract songs and hard-hitting boom bap. The tracklist runs an hour long, during which there is not one weak song and every track seems just as good as the last.

Cella Dwellas consists of two rugged MCs, Ug the Imagination and Phantasm the Tallman. I might draw comparisons to Boot Camp Clik, Wu-Tang Clan, and Gravediggaz to describe their style, but it's difficult to liken them to any individual acts. Ug is a force, rattling off perplexing rhyme schemes like shopping lists with apparent effortlessness, with an unstoppable gruff delivery. In his more abstract performances, he sounds absolutely deranged, rapping like a mad scientist. Phantasm slides across the beats with a flow that's technically flawless but similarly raw.

"Realms `N Reality" is as hard and grimy a record as you'll find, with rough rhymes and awesome production, beats that hit hard as nails, and the dusty pianos, horn samples, and rough percussion of the best mid-90s New York boom bap. Their straightforward braggadocio is witty and impressive, as are the wild adventures into alternate universes. But what I love most about Cella Dwellas is that despite their hardcore stance, there's an unmistakable tongue-in-cheek humor in their raps. "Realms `N Reality" is home to a wide array of styles, but with such a concise sound and no guests it is incredibly focused.

The opener "Advance to Boardwalk" is pure hip hop gold, an ingenious song narrating a trip around a Monopoly board in terms of extortion and hustling across the map. The hard-hitting, eerie beat and clever concept, rugged Brooklyn delivery, and over-the-top posturing make this track a winner. Both members drop striking long-winded verses on "Mystic Freestyle," referencing mystical spirits and dimensions in otherworldly experiences. "Perfect Match" is a strong love song, an obvious single, balancing softer R&B production with an unmistakable New York swagger. The slick "Medina Style" and upbeat "Recognize `N Realize" give way to "Cella Dwellas" and "Realm 3," where the Dwellas assume the personas of crazy mystic figures from "the third world," with slithery beats to match. My favorite song is "Good Dwellas," a mafioso narrative continued on the subsequent "Good Dwellas (Part 2)." Another standout is "Worries," with a creepy xylophone-anchored beat and great verses. "We Got It Hemmed" is a head-nodding highlight, and the original single "Land of the Lost" explores another alternate world. Heck, even the outro is dope.

"Realms `N Reality" is such a unique LP because it can be enjoyed on multiple levels. Listeners might find the hard BK style, abstract role-playing, latent humor, or perhaps a combination of all of the above most appealing. Cella Dwellas are as rugged and creative as New York rappers come, but at the same time feel like a clever caricature. In any event, they absolutely nailed the '96 New York hip hop formula to perfection, and "Realms `N Reality" is one of the most purely fun rap albums I've heard. The Dwellas returned in 2000 with The Last Shall Be First but have largely remained quiet, allowing "Realms 'N Reality" to fall to the depths of obscurity despite its classic quality."
Its a perfect match
Nikos | 08/05/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"yo it is dope, This album is pure dynasty. Ug and Phantasm r a perfect match. They r the 2 dope emcees from Brooklyn who found each other at another dope freestyle in the infamous Lyricist Lounge. Cop this album if u like NY underground. IM out. Peace 1 luv"