Let it be known that Termanology had one of the best years of his career in 2012. He dropped not one but two widely acclaimed records in that true collaborative hip-hop fashion he clearly holds so dear. First, he and frequent collaborator Statik Selektah dropped an album as the duo 1982, 2012, in May. And seven months later, Term linked with rapper/producer Lil Fame (aka Fizzy Womack of M.O.P.) for the tough-as-nails Fizzyology.
Despite that constant studio grind last year, the New England-hailing MC kept that fire in his belly warm while dropping preview cuts and ripping guest features in anticipation of his latest solo affair, G.O.Y.A. (Gunz or Yay Available). Despite being a solo record, the album is another collaboration, and an impressive one at that, with bubbling producer Shortfyfuz, who also hails from Term’s native Lawrence, Mass. Maybe it was the fact they share a hometown or that Shortyfuz feels he has something to prove—or simply that returning home to record the album served as inspiration—buy G.O.Y.A. is yet another impressive offering from Termanology.
The album comes packed with 17 brand-new tracks, three of which are skits, from the rapper known for his blistering flow, tough-talking rhymes, and drug-dealer wit. In other words, it’s everything you would to hear from Term and his cohorts, which include like-minded spitters Action Bronson (the superbly funky “Take My Turn“), Sheek Louch (the uber-raw “Straight Off The Block”), and Wais P (the metaphor-heavy “Cocaine Eyes”). The most intriguing guest, however, is Chris Rivers on gangster-rap banger “Scandalous.” For those unaware, Rivers is the son of the late Big Pun, whose voice echoes across the hook and was a huge inspiration on Term. In fact, some detractors have unfairly labeled Term a Pun biter but, as made evident on “Scandalous,” that’s simply not the case. He just knows how to rip apart a beat like it stole his lunch money with his lightning-fast delivery.
It’s not all internal rhymes and head-spinning raps, though. Term gets introspective and meditates on street life on “Black Hole” alongside crooner Lee Wilson and the Roots affiliate Dice Raw. Elsewhere, you’ll hear the Massachusetts MC flex his talents as a storyteller on standout “Secret Location,” which finds Term in the role of a mafia boss outlining how to transition from a follower to a leader. You get the feeling that Term has lived this life, like an online casino owner gone bad. As he details where and how to stash your cash, you can picture him piling up dough as the guy behind a site like Casino.Betfair.com. As players press their luck, he stacks his own paper—maybe even indulging in gambling himself—and knows where to keep it so the feds don’t catch up with him. That kind of vivid imagery brought about by Term’s lyrics is what makes him such an engaging MC.
There are also moments of mutual respect displayed, like on the legends-laden title track. “G.O.Y.A.” is actually a skit full of shout outs from rap kings Large Pro, Lil Fame, Pete Rock and DJ Premier. Even though Termanology has worked with all of them, this interlude feels like he’s being ushered into higher echelon of Northeast hip-hop and rap music in general. And as long as he keeps pushing out records like G.O.Y.A., we don’t see him losing that spot.