Album Review | AJ Suede & Small Professor – Hundred Year Darkness

This album was released on April 14th this year. AJ Suede already released one of the better albums of 2022 with Metatron’s Cube, so I was pretty surprised to see him follow it up so quickly. I was definitely excited to listen to this project though, especially when I found out who he was working with. I’m not an expert on all of Small Professor's work, but I’ve enjoyed most of what I’ve heard from him in the past. I’m mostly familiar with him through his work with the Wrecking Crew. I became even more excited when I saw who was featured on this project. I’m a fan of pretty much every single artist that contributed to this album, so I think I’m gonna dig this. I’ll be shocked if I don’t enjoy it to some extent.
The album begins with Apologize Later, which I think is pretty good. The production from Small Pro is really nice. I like how there’s minimal percussion. The entire song is pretty much just one verse from AJ Suede, but it’s very good.
No immunity
A pillar of my community
Seeing where the landmarks used to be
No more ozone
Slide around town like Frozone
It's time to do something incredible
I don't do edibles
I gotta movе with the urgency
Made enough noise that your grandparents heard of me
If you ain't the best be the first to be
Saturn over Mercury
Looking at the horrors you were scopin'
No horoscopin', kush for the copin'
Mechanism 'cause at first you wasn't messing with it
Then you heard these verses and you recognized the legend in 'em

He doesn’t have the flashiest flow or anything, but he sounds pretty good over this beat. With that said, I actually prefer the remix of this song that appears toward the end of the project. The beat is just a lot more interesting to me. Both versions are good though. It’s a dope song. The following track is called Maybach Mobile Suit. The beat on this track is cool, but it doesn’t stand out to me as much as the preceding one. I still like it to some extent though. This song is structured pretty much the exact same way as the first song. It’s just one verse.

Fools on Twitter being bitter
The loudest in the room is the runt of the litter
Caffeinated early and it gives me the jitters
You would think a nigga went to school with the wizards
Cool in a blizzard, but the mountains on fire
Made a lot of rappers prematurely retire
Tolerance breaks, so I bet you I'm higher
Airline miles, so I bet you I'm flyer

This is far from the most memorable song on the album, but I definitely enjoyed it to some extent. The verse was pretty good, and the production is solid. It’s a good song. Track 3 is called Borrowed Time Stamps, and it was one of the more exciting songs for me because it features Defcee, of whom I’m a big fan. I think this track has one of the better instrumentals on the album, and the first verse from AJ is dope.

Always bounce back, mystical on the wall
Making the call, couple people dropping the ball
Rapping with Small
Hate 'em, but we laughing 'em off
You can rhyme a couple words, but you lacking the sauce

Defcee fucking killed this shit though. As always, I was super impressed by his writing, and he just sounds really good over this beat.

Wrote this once I closed my eyes and let the rhyme dance
Inside the instrumentals irises, hell of a life plan
Sitting in the chest of a middle America sized van
Where talent pools were really mirages dressing the dry land
How many people I been owing this verse to?
Lawyer stack of my non-commitment in local commercials
We don't show rehearsals, everything's been mapped out
To the time a drunken son doubles over in the background

This is definitely one of the best tracks on the album to me. I think a good hook could’ve pushed it to the next level, but it’s dope as it is. I fuck with it. The next track is called Enterprise.

This song doesn’t really stand out as much to me, but I still enjoyed it to some extent. It’s just that the instrumental isn’t super interesting to me. I mean, I definitely like the beat. It’s just not one of my favorites on this album. The verse from AJ is dope though.

Might've watched every Dame Dash interview
Biggs Burke quote, every Jay-Z business move
Need a Barclays Center for the underground
David Blaine rhymes, no tricks, but you wonder how
Integrated negro league, level out the playin' field
Major label deal ain't the only way to make a mill'

The whole track is pretty much just one verse, and AJ’s flow is very straightforward, so I wouldn’t be shocked if someone told me that they thought this track was underwhelming. I personally enjoyed it, but it’s far from a highlight on this album for me. I do like it though. I think it’s pretty good. The following track is called Drano. I think the production is pretty nice; the drums sound very good to me. AJ Suede doesn’t really do anything differently on this track from what he does on most of the other songs, which may or may not be a good thing depending on your perspective. Personally, I don’t really mind the straightforward structure of this track, but I do think that some more variation could’ve pushed it to the next level. I actually prefer the remix of this song that appears at the end of the album. The beat on the remix is way more interesting. The drums are a lot more hard-hitting, and the primary loop is weird as hell, but in a cool way. The song is dope. Track 6 is called Full Metal Chimera, and it features Fatboi Sharif. This one’s got another really nice beat from Small Pro. It’s one of the jazziest instrumentals on the whole album. The opening verse from AJ is really nice; I like how he referenced a bunch of old Adult Swim cartoons.

Smoke n' watch The Oblongs, Home Movies, season 1
Squigglevision, Dr. Katz, but the show has just begun

The second verse from Fatboi Sharif is dope too. His voice sounds really good here. He sounds kinda different from how he usually does. I can’t really say who had the better verse honestly. They were both very good for different reasons. This is definitely another one of the better songs on the album to me. I think it’s really dope. The next track is called Major Event. This song actually grew on me a lot. It didn’t stand out that much to me on my first listen of the album, but I think it’s really good now. The production is fantastic, and AJ spits with a relatively fast-paced flow over it. The song is only 91 seconds long, so there’s only time for one quick verse followed by an outro. I definitely think it could’ve been fleshed out a little more, which is probably why the song didn’t stand out that much to me on my first listen. I still think this shit is really good though. It’s followed by an even better track called Thesaurus. The production on this one doesn’t stand out to me quite as much, but I think the rapping is really great here. This is like the only song with an actual hook too, which was nice.

Now aren't you a sight for the sorest of eyes
Fools think they smart with thesaurus replies
Couldn't see Hell if you had Horus' eyes
I make the best music when it's pourin' outside

You know what else was nice? This song introduced me to a Star Wars character named Cad Bane, who I was previously unfamiliar with. He’s a cool character though. Anyway, this song is really dope, and easily one of the best on the album in my opinion. It’s followed by War Report, which was another one of the more exciting tracks because it features Teller Bank$. This song has one of the best instrumentals on the album in my opinion. AJ did a great job on the first verse. I really fuck with what he was saying on this track.

The rich rob the poor and the poor rob each other
Nice to your captor, mean to your brother
The poor rob the store and the rich make the profit
The option, prison industrial complex

Teller Bank$ really killed that second verse too. I loved his performance here, and I really like how AJ came in right behind him to close the song out. This is another one of the best songs on the album to me. It’s really dope. The only other song I haven’t mentioned yet is All Your Base. This track has one of the weirdest beats on the album, but it’s really awesome. It sounds like a horror movie. AJ Suede’s actual performance over it wasn’t super impressive to me, but there were a handful of lines that I liked.

Ain't no government savin' us
And you got a way smaller brain than us
This is that audio angel dust
Suede, Small Pro too dangerous

Even though I love the production, this isn’t really a highlight for me on the album just because AJ recycles a few lines throughout the verse, and it ends kind of abruptly. It’s still an enjoyable track for me though. I dig it.

This is a good album. I think Small Professor’s production is really nice throughout this project, and same goes for AJ’s rapping. All the features came through with dope performances as well, just like I expected them to. I do have some gripes with this project though. It doesn’t feel anywhere near as ambitious as Metatron’s Cube, mostly because a lot of the songs are really scant structurally. The majority of these songs lack hooks and just contain one verse. It’d be one thing if all of the verses were super crazy, hyper-lyrical performances with crazy flows, but that’s simply not the case. You kinda know what to expect from the whole album after hearing the first track. This shit is still very good though. There’s not a single track here that I don’t like to some extent. I can’t really decide who I’m more impressed by between AJ Suede & Small Professor. I think fans of AJ Suede will dig this project, but it probably isn’t the best entry point for new listeners. I fuck with it though. It’s a dope album.