Beyond Belief review | 38 Spesh and Harry Fraud link up

On 38 Spesh's Beyond Belief, every verse is packed to the brim with multi-syllable rhyme schemes to the point where you would guess more words rhyme than don’t. 

38 spesh review


Record exec. and producer-turned-rapper, 38 Spesh, releases his second project of the year, following September’s 7 Shots, this time a collaborative project with New York producer Harry Fraud. The pair recruited some of the best spitters in the game, including the likes of Conway The Machine and Jim Jones, to release one of the best technical rap albums of the year. 

Stove God Cooks sounds more hungry than he’s been all year on ‘Speshal,’ perhaps no surprise as he has been touted by Westside Gunn as the next Griselda member to release a project. Laid back guitar chords and stripped-back drums make for the perfect instrumental for Spesh and Stove to demonstrate their immense skill without any distraction.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by 38 Spesh (@iamspesh)

Stove is far from the only Griselda member to feature on the project, however, as Conway The Machine and Benny The Butcher both make appearances on ‘Two 23’s’ and ‘Band of Brothers’ respectively. Conway once again stakes his claim as the best rapper in the collective as he delivers an immense 16 bars, using the same 4-syllable rhyme scheme throughout; “Killer Tone still be on goal with his pole in his palm, I’m talking two 23’s that’s Jordan Lebron.” Phenomenal. 

‘Band of Brothers’ sees it Spesh’s turn for four syllables, before Benny returns to form after a subpar verse on Westside Gunn’s 10. Ransom continues his 2022 hot streak, including a funny Johnny Depp/Amber Heard reference amongst several clever puns.  Another laidback beat from Fraud featuring the occasional soul sample makes the content of the lyrics that much more enjoyable, as the trio create an underground rap anthem of brotherhood. 

Yet 38 Spesh doesn’t rely on features, he proves as much on ‘Band of Brothers’. ‘Loverboy Interlude’ sees Spesh’s immaculate storytelling at work, as he details being released from prison, only to find out his friend has snitched and died, before reminiscing about selling drugs in prison. ‘Sal’s Pizza’ is one of the highlights of the album and it is a solo Spesh track.

Whilst the lyrical content is excellent, much of what makes this album so enjoyable is Harry Fraud’s production. Too often are top tier lyricists let down by repetitive boom-bap beats (Griselda can often fall victim to this), yet Harry Fraud provides 10 instrumentals that give the best artists in the rap game all they need to showcase their talents, whilst not being stripped down to the level of beats from some such as Nicholas Craven, which can occasionally get boring.

‘Loverboy Interlude’ features a catchy electric guitar, and even includes an interlude of its own when Spesh finishes his verse behind a vocal sample before the track reverts to its guitar line. Similarly ‘Sal’s Pizza’ sees Fraud using one of the best vocal samples of the year to form the hook, as the eerie chorus of “staring at the ceiling, trying very hard to sleep” flows effortlessly off of Fraud’s ambient pianos and boom-bap drums. 

With a second consecutive quality album in 2022, 38 Spesh is cementing himself as one of the best rappers in the world (he already is if you ask Kevin Durant). Beyond Belief feels like a far more complete and well-rounded album than 7 Shots, largely thanks to a more consistent production sound and top tier features, whilst the Rochester native’s skill is placed in the spotlight for all to admire.

Leave a Reply

More like this