Phil the Agony has only been an interesting character in the background for Tha Liks, Xzibit, and the rest of his Likwit Crew brethren. With his unique style and charisma, he has released hot singles and made great guest appearances on other artists’ material. Now finally on The Aromatic Album, Phil the Agony is given the opportunity to reveal his top-quality talents. Featuring guest shots by Raekwon, Xzibit and Planet Asia and production credits by DJ Hi-Tek and underrated producer DJ Khalil of Self Scientific, Aromatic had real potential to be great. Instead, it is another disappointing addition to the wastebasket.

Music Reviews


The album’s sole problem is that Phil the Agony’s hard flow and lyrics just do not fit the R&B-like production. All the rhymes about smoking weed seem misplaced over tracks on which one would expect to hear Ashanti’s singing. The “Steady Smoking Announcements” are embarrassing attempts to recreate the interludes from Dr. Dre’s classic The Chronic. It sounds corny when the guy giving the announcement says that he “suggests bangin’ this mutha fucka at volume 10 or more,” and then the following track, “Promises,” starts with a weak imitation of Beyonce.


The best track on the album is “Pat Jenkins,” which features emcee Planet Asia and is produced by the lesser known Spontaneous. The incessant strings and the melodic, filtered guitar in the background are a fitting compliment to the head nodding drums. Phil the Agony and Planet Asia just rip it. They feed us with the lyrical rawness that we have been waiting for after ten tracks of the album. Planet Asia’s concluding line clinches the rhyming session: “Y’all niggas must be out of your mind / But I’m a put your mind out of ya, never try to fuck with my grind.”


Although Aromatic is not awful, people who were eagerly anticipating Phil the Agony’s debut will be extremely annoyed. The R&B beats sound decent, but Phil the Agony is not an R&B artist by anyone’s standards. It is possible that he was trying to experiment with gaining mainstream acceptance or perhaps all the weed caused him not to pay attention to what he was rhyming. In any case, Phil fails to use his obvious talent to create a worthwhile project.


Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

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