Given the fickle nature of the rap game and its fans, the Jesus metaphor is appropriate for Sean Price. The MC, who fell off the map following his former group Heltah Skeltah's last salvo, 1998's Magnum Force
, resurrects his career with Jesus Price Supastar
. With a slightly behind-the-beat flow and a voice like a cement mixer loaded with shell casings, Price spews verbose boasts and witty thugisms in fact, it's difficult to tell whether he packs more guns or punch lines. The cross that Price bears is heavier than all of the surface shit-talk suggests, though, as evidenced on the album's closer, "Mess You Made." With couplets about pawning a ring to make sure that his son has school clothes, and references to "Carhartt suits and construction jobs," this track is not only an intimate look at how Price spent his sabbatical from music but also a celebration of his return. And it's nice to see Price's former partner in rhyme, Rock, contribute a couple of verses, proving that the pair's chemistry is still intact. Beat wise, the contributors (including 9th Wonder and Khrysis as well as several lesser-known producers) generally fail to match Price's voracity on the microphone. Exceptions: the string-laden "King Kong," the Buckshot collaboration "Cardiac" and the short shots "Intro" and "One." The biggest misstep is the tepid G-funk of "Church," which is about as out of place as an Uzi in a birthday cake. Suffering from lackluster production but bolstered by Price's heavyweight flow, Jesus Price Supastar
still wins ears. If East Coast dudes truly spent all last year trying to bring New York back, then Price has them halfway to the promised land.