Supernatural's The Lost Freestyle Files has been heavily
marketed under a quote by Bobbito Garcia proclaiming the record "a
piece of hip-hop history," which is entirely true. It is not a debut
LP, nor is it a party jam or a "headphones album"; it is an
introduction to the troubled career of an infamous underground emcee,
chronicling heated battles, radio freestyles and a few excellent studio
The majority of the tracks on The Lost Freestyle Files
originally aired on the radio, ultimately explaining some of the
record's poor sound quality. But these tracks are the heart of the
record, showcasing the emcee's phenomenal freestyle skills and
controversial battles. On legendary shows, including those of Bobbito
& Stretch and Sway & Tech, Supernatural flaunts his conceptual
rhyme styles, which include an underwater verse and a "transformer"
style, wherein he channels the voices of Biggie Smalls, Xzibit and
Slick Rick the Ruler.
The battle tracks on the record include Supernat's highly contested
challenges with Craig G and Juice. After Juice calls his opponent an
undeserving understudy, the battle reaches its climax when Supernat
lets loose with his rebuttal: "Understudy? Yo, that's suicidal./ Fuck
that shit, Supernatural is your idol." Many fans waste time arguing
over who won these battles, but what's important is the hunger
expressed in this fundamental function of rap that is all but
nonexistent in the industry today.
The handful of studio tracks on The Lost Freestyle Files
are so excellent they might frustrate fans who still await an LP of
fresh material from this lyrical legend. He's come close to producing a
traditional album to release several times, including a bungled record
deal with Elektra. That was some time ago, but the fact that
Supernatural is currently the opening act on a Linkin Park tour is
evidence that the emcee's path is still unfortunately misguided. I hope
The Lost Freestyle Files won't forever seal his fate as an underground legend who never saw his time to explode.
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