Cesar, The JL Originator Brings the Ace (****)
Jude Smith | Brisbane, QLD Australia | 11/17/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Cesar Commanche is aparently accredited with starting the Justus League which contains such crews as The Away Team and of course Little Brother to name but a few. Little Brother have obviously brought a lot of attention to the crew since their successful albums like the underground The Listening and the major label release of 2005 The Minstrel Show and it is through their music that I have given time to other JL members albums such as this.
Cesars 3rd Album is titled after his parents band The Squirrel and the Aces and is an ode to them, with a band theme being loosly continued through the album. Having not heard any of his previous work prior to purchasing this I can't comment on his progression (or lack there of) and have approached it really on it's own merit. Which is high. His voice is one that can take some time to take get into reminding me of the first time I listened to Wordsworth on his solo album Mirror Music. Cesar has quite a soft voice, and in that regard I'd place him with cats like Gift of Gab, Lyrics Born and of course Words, having said this it's unlike anything I've heard before and is quite rememberable.
Once again much like M.M. I've slowly worked myself into this release. It's an album that definitely didn't bounce out at me yet I feel it more every-time I spin it, evolving into a disc thats getting some pretty heavy rotation. Lyrically his skills are quite strong and he approaches his music with an honesty that you've got to respect. Talking on topics that range from the ups and down in life, simply titled Ups & Downs it's produced by 9th Wonder and is the first single, to speaking on criticism from people that he respected and moving on and gaining from it in Downpour. Guest wise it's all a pretty standard fare with JL members and a few extras like Supastition, although there is no Pooh or Phonte from LB, which is almost refreshing.
The album does have it's problems such as the skit Water Break that can drag on and songs that just seem almost like mixtape material, like Jacobs Ladder where he spits over a re-used beat from Nicolay (Foreign Exchange, Dutch Masters). By the end of Aces though you know you've heard an intelligent dude spit with his heart on his sleeve and for that he might be missed by the mainstream and even your average Hip-Hop head but deserves your attention.