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Fear Itself

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Audio CD (3 Feb. 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Jive
  • ASIN: B000026Y0W
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 196,254 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
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by Casual
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
i love everthing about this album the raw drums, the samples, the funky basslines,casuals unique voice and his style,plus all the guests mainly hiero family and even the interlude with saafir is really nice.highly recomended!!!! also checkout del the funky homasapien"no need for alarm", souls of mischief"93 til infinity" and extra prolific"like it should be" for more early nineties goodness
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9a4c560c) out of 5 stars 19 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a4f1b94) out of 5 stars '94 'Til Infinity? 5 Feb. 2008
By ctrx - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Oakland rapper Casual released his solo debut "Fear Itself" in early 1994 following noteworthy appearances and production on Hieroglyphics projects. "Fear Itself" displays the pure appeal of Hieroglyphics. Although Casual isn't the endearing character that Del tha Funkee Homosapien is, and the album lacks the timelessness of Souls of Mischief's 93 'Til Infinity and the musical beauty of Extra Prolific's Like It Should Be, it is an enjoyable album on multiple levels that captures Hiero's genius. Casual is a pure battle rapper, and one could imagine him in the Souls of Mischief lineup. He has a soulful, rich voice (imagine a very deep Cee-Lo Goodie) and an excited delivery, and he is full of clever punchlines. He's a skilled freestyler, and most of the album consists of battle raps. Production is consistently great. Domino, the man behind the Hiero sound, produces 7 tracks, Casual does six, and Del and Jay-Biz each do one. With these duties kept inside the family, the vibe is fluid and coherent, usually upbeat and always using classic soul and jazz samples for a deep and rich sound. It's not too far from the music on 93 'Til Infinity, but with Casual manning the microphone, the effect is unsimilar. Guests are also kept within the camp, and on collabos Cas shines. Without a classic single and a few less-memorable tracks that run together, "Fear Itself" isn't quite of the same quality as its more revered early Hiero brethren, but for the fans of the artistic Hiero sound, I highly recommend it.

Following a dope intro, the album opens with "You Flunked," asserting his superiority ("You're weaker than seven days / You should find a way to bring a weaker thought like crime pays") on the mic over a rich, spinning track. Further insight is provided on his self-described autobiography "Me-O-Mi-O," which has a great drum pattern. "Get Off It" is clever and polished, and "That's How It Is" provides some honest criticism of concurrent MCs ("Enough with the wackness, enough is my check / Enough with these garbage rappers bitin' Das EFX"). Newcomer Saafir kicks a nice freestyle on the brief "That Bulls...," followed by the solid "Follow the Funk." The best song is "Who's It On," a catchy collaboration with Pep Love and Del tha Funkee Homosapien and an excellent sax sample. "I Didn't Mean To" is a highlight both lyrically and musically, telling the story of a noteworthy female encounter over a soaring trumpet line. Another of my favorites is "We Got It Like That," a fast, funky production boasting wonderful sax instrumentation. Del gets a brief spotlight on "A Little Something," and the decent "This Is How We Rip S..." precedes the fun "Lose in the End." "Thoughts of the Thoughtful" is a nice song, and the LP closes strongly with "Chained Minds" and the storyteller "Be Thousand."

"Fear Itself" is an awesome LP of battle raps, Hiero antics, and excellent production. Bottom line, pick up 93 'Til Infinity first, and if you enjoy that album, add "Fear Itself" to the collection. It's one of the albums that helped to build the Hieroglyphics legend and possesses all the qualities of their best albums. Hiero's product was one of the best to be found in the 90s, and it's easy to see why on albums like these. Cas has released numerous solo LPs, rapped on Hiero group albums, and is still doing his thing today, but most fans will admit that he has yet to top his debut effort. Hip hop heads are sure to enjoy "Fear Itself."
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a661264) out of 5 stars Classic Debut 23 July 2001
By david summers - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Casual's raw energy over mostly domino-produced beats is an excellent combination. Casual's mic presence is unmatched, he rips it on each track. Guest appearances by Del and Pep Love on "Who's It On" bring and amazingly dope cut. Peep this album.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9bc72f84) out of 5 stars He "Didn't Mean To" Drop Such A Great Album...Or Did He? (Rating: 8 out of 10- -4.0 stars) 27 May 2008
By Chandler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Call it what you want, when it comes to the Hieroglyphics, Casual might be the most lyrical sounding from the group (okay, maybe it's a toss up with Pep Love, but where was his album back in the 90's?). He really has shown some growth since he first appeared on Del's No Need for Alarm prior to this album being released. Not only he is very lyrical, but he can be a versital emcee as well. He is great at rocking mics or telling such hilarious stories, which are all throughout this album.

"I Didn't Mean To" would be his most popular single from this album, a song about him sleeping up with a friend's girl. Other great lyrical tracks would be "You Flunked" and the catchy "Follow The Funk". As mentioned before, he can tell a few stories like on "Loose In The End" and on the hilarious "Be Thousand".

A benefit of being in such a innovative group full of emcees is how easy you can get them to be a guest on a track in your album. Casual uses that to his full advantage here, whether if someone is dropping a verse, or if they are just ad-libing over the track. Case in point with the former where Del tha Funkee Homosapien and Pep Love on "Who's It On", or with the latter where as you have Snupe and A-Plus on the hook of "This Is How We Rip ****", and on "Be Thousand" having Snupe and Tajai ad-libbing the story. Even Toure would come and scratch a few samples throughout a few songs. The only outside person who makes an appearance is Saafir from Digital Underground doing his thing on "That B.S." (and would battle Casual less than a year later on "The Wake Up Show").

As for the production, believe it or not it's quite different than most Hiero releases in the mid 90's. Domino produced most of this album, with the help of Del, Jay-Biz, and Casual himself. Not too often will you hear a will hear a great horn loop like on "Get Off It". Also at times, you can hear the laid back funk production, such as "Me-O-Mi-O" and "Follow The Funk". I would have said this would have been the best produced album from The Hieroglyphics, but Like It Should Be would hold that honor. But still the production here is excellent.

It's easy to see why Fear Itself is such a great album. Great production and lyrics all over this album. No doubt Casual can hold his own with this dope album. Given that his later albums were lack luster (Meanwhile was canned, and the one after that was a dissapointment), this would be known to be his best and his most popular, which bring me to something else. With the exception of their group albums, most of the great Hiero solo releases were on popular record labels (Casual and Souls were on Jive, and Del was on Elektra). Maybe Jive can release some sort of greatest hits and some lost tracks that Casual and Souls of Mischief made while signed to that label. But until then, there is no doubt Fear Itself will satisfy any fan of hip hop from the mid 90's. Peace.

Lyrics: A-
Production: A-
Guest Appearances: A-
Musical Vibes: A-

Top 5 Tracks:
1. Follow The Funk
2. Get Off It
3. Be Thousand
4. I Didn't Mean To
5. Who Is It On (featuring Pep Love and Del)

Honorable Mention:
1. Me-O-Mi-O
2. This Is How We Rip ****
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a4f7588) out of 5 stars The most underrated rap album of all-time 9 Mar. 2000
By Phesto - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This has to be the most slept on hip-hop masterpiece to ever get a commercial release. Most Hiero fans inexplicably seem to prefer Del's solo release "No Need for Alarm" released around the same time, and although that album is good, this one is much better. Even Del comes off better in two songs on this album than he does on his own. While other Hiero members' best work often shows up on other places than their widely released albums, this record contains many of Casual's best songs. The beats are incredible, the flow is dope, and the lyrics have depth. Even Saafir comes off good on one track. "Get Off It" is probably my favorite song, but there are many great ones. Better than "No Need for Alarm" and very close to the apex reached by "93 til Infinity".
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a4f7714) out of 5 stars Fear Itself helped put Hieroglyphics on the map 6 Aug. 2000
By J Schultz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Fear Itself is butter. Coming with high energy flows and great jazz/funk beats from the 70's, Casual delivers an album that is just as good today as it was in 94. Guest appearences by Del, Extra Prolific, Saafir, Pep Love, and others only serve to make this album more in-depth. "Get off It" features a slick sample of jazz man Freddie Hubbard's "Mr Clean" that will stick in your head forever. "Who's It On" features is a high energy track that features Pep Love and Del and an insanely tight sample of Nathan Davis's "Tragic Magic". If you liked No Need For Alarm, 93 Til Infinity, Digable Planets, or any other groups that lace their albums with buttery jazz samples and tight lyrics, then you'll love this.
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