“Laws & Flaws” is a conglomerate of ideas and idioms from the mind of Gel Roc. For those who don’t know, Gel Roc is part of a crew called EX2 (Endangered Elements) out of the West Coast. They released 2 full lengths before putting things on hold for a bit. In the absence of EX2, Gel found it fitting to release his own full length.
These days, emcees who are part of a group find it hard to hold down a full length on their own. The main reason for this is, you always have someone to back you up lyrically and if the song, or in this case the album, doesn’t work out, you won’t take the full blame. However, when you’re a solo act, all eyes are on you. And those who have followed EX2 know Gel has always been strong lyrically and was a
major cog in the EX2 sound. So, would he be able to carry these attributes over to “Laws & Flaws”?
Right off the bat Gel Roc is hitting the listener over the head in “Adaptation.” Rapidly, he starts rhyming more lyrical patterns and combination of elements than a Hieronymus Bosch piece. And with the beat from Mascaria coming rather incredibly groomed, some of their magic was done for the trained or patient ear. The chorus is Gel’s credo to the world:
“Even if the world doesn’t really care what I gotta say,
I gotta spit it to ‘em anyway.
Hard to the core, Art to the form, Far from the norm,
Cause as soon as one star dies another star is born.
Spitting with Gel is Hip Hop Klan’s Ellay Khule. He rips with incredible preciseness that only adds to the track. Gel continues his sarcastic undertone and speaks his mind in that condescending “I Don’t Give a F**k” sort of way in the track “Fundamentals” that’s preceded by a dope spoken word like a poem from Nite n Dae. Ex2 cohort Virus lends a hand and is unrelenting. “Cease to Amaze” is a posse cut that boasts some of the best underground West Coast rappers. It features emcees such as Zagu Brown (Global Phlowtations), Existereo (ShapeShifters), 2Mex (Visionaries), Tommy V (Imprints/ShapeShifters) and 2 members of Ex2, along with an enigmatic appearance by L’Roneous. Mascaria provides a bouncy mid 90’s flavor for the emcees to feast on. This track is sick! This album almost defies description because of its subtle technicalities. It accomplishes to combine several styles, from the straight up bragging and boasting with strong smartass undertones, to the surprising eloquence that comes straight from the heart. The jumping formula on “Love Letter,” a track exploring relationships is celebrated with lyrics that set a secure foundation of quality.
As we move on, “Suckamuthaf**ker” is giving us another chance to hurry along with the quick flow of this Cali native. The lyrics at the same time add off beat eccentrism. Employing Mascaria to produce this album was a great idea. The vibes of his beats merge perfectly with Gel Roc’s cryptic rhyming and messaging. “Flaws & Laws” is the antithesis of wackness and if you’re a fan of left field Hip Hop, this one is sure not to disappoint! – CyPhEr777 (Insomniac Magazine)