Guru of Gangstarr once said that ‘if your voice ain’t dope you need to chill.’ At the risk of sounding too technical, my assertion is that the same rule still applies that was valid in 1994 on the Hard to Earn album.

With Blood Rushing to My Head, veteran mixtapist Eshon Burgundy delivers something extremely authentic. The album seems to pay tribute to an era of Big Poppas and Easy Mo Bee’s, a time when ‘riding’ with a team was normal in lieu of solely being branded by a rap name. (See: the high presence of S.A.M.G., including features by C.H.R.I.S., Jeremiah Bligen, Hot Handz and J.Johnson).

Where other artists might skimp on the visible reality, out of a loving heart, Eshon weaves passionate stories of the tumultuous ghetto, a segment of society largely forgotten by mainstream Christianity. Eshon’s album is targeted; seemingly created for those who are not strangers to the hood life. This is the perfect album for those who are on either side of the “faith fence.”


The album kicks off with “The Garden” featuring the heavily sought-after Christon Gray and produced by BMII and Eons D. Eshon raps: The whole world a Rotten Apple, drop it on the floor/ Don’t be deceived thinkin’ somethin pure is at the core. The correlation between Adam’s sin and our fallen world is almost palpable.

On “Dearly Beloved” featuring J. Johnson, Eshon dons his humble Guru flow over a beat one might expect to find on ‘Uptown Saturday Night’ by Camp Lo. In the song, Eshon explores the futility of self-dependence with lines like: Whatever makes you scared, the fact is your fear loves it and Curlin your arm chasin after selfish ambition / Ambition is different when the hand of God’s missin’.

“Comprende”, a posse cut consisting of The Voice, Lavoisier, Eric Christopher and Fred Council, paints a picture seen on many street corners of America – young men posted without physical nor spiritual destinations. It is a sad reality that truth can be found in Lavoisier’s words: Some would rather take a jail cell over a college degree.

The second half of the album really hits hard with tracks like “Semi Automatic Mindset” and “D.B.A.” The former features Salvation Armie running mate Jeremiah Bligen over a guitar-heavy track produced by Kevin Franklin. As with his King Kulture contribution “Nothin’ For Us”, Eshon spits his trademark-style lyrics, lodged with so much truth that it would be impossible to pull a “dividing doctrine” flag. Bars like Pride and arrogance are the enforcers of the curse and Stand firm, let me problems run their course sound more like Christian manifestos than rap lyrics.

The horns, oh the horns. In the same vein as “Unbelievable” and “N.Y. State of Mind”, producer Street Orchestra drops a classic track with “D.B.A.” J. Johnson’s street-anthem-of-a-hook perfectly compliments Eshon as he douses the beat with flames like Cuz we got right and wrong, long as they coexist / Somebody’s gotta die, Biggie told you this. Beat Battle (at Flavor Fest 2011) finalist TEE WYLA drops what sounds like an outro with “Cloud College”, featuring Copywrite, IV his Son and Big Fil. An extremely introspective piano loop creates the perfect atmosphere, allowing all four artists room to give testimonies of their escape or deliverance from former lives. Eshon paints his most memorable picture: Way more than anyone could take fellas / Life on the line like bank tellers / with a dude in a mask and a bag and a .44 mag pressed against the glass.

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