I use the phrase “over far too soon” when reviewing music I enjoy. TOOK A TEST, which lasts just under 4 minutes, is a great example of this. Although the song runs at a perfect time, you can listen to it over and over again without getting bored.
Hakim Green is one of the most influential and well-known hip-hop artists of our time. He got his start in the early 1990s with the group Channel Live, which released its debut album, Station Identification, in 1995. The album spawned the group’s biggest hit, “Mad Izm,” which peaked at 54 on the Billboard Hot 100. After the album ran its course, the group continued to make appearances throughout the 1990s, including on KRS-One’s self-titled album and on the soundtrack of the first Wesley Snipes Blade film. In 2000, the group released a second album titled Armaghetto on Flavor Unit – it featured Method Man, the now-late Black Rob, Ms. Toi, Malik Yusef, and the singer Carl Thomas. A third album, Secret Science Rap, followed in 2006.
“Took a Test” kicks in with a duo rapping over a funky bassline and drum beat. The verses are clever, and the lyrics flow together perfectly. The chorus is catchy and will have you singing along within seconds.
On top of the music, Hakin Green’s voice is full of personality — his tone, his laid-back delivery style, and even his words all point to a definite love for performance and composing bars meant to entertain. The song begins with an enthusiastic bounce and a calm kind of quiet assurance that wonderfully complements Greens’ chilled-down singing style.
The whole thing has a professional finish to it; it pours through with equal parts dynamic and swift familiarity – the hook settles in, as does the artist’s manner, and musically there’s a good amount to enjoy, which distinguishes this from the majority of recent releases. Things can be lively without falling heavy or straining for ridiculously quick tempos, and Hakim Green is an entertainer who expertly pays attention to that.
All in all, this is a fun and enjoyable song that is over far too soon. I highly recommend giving it a listen. You won’t be disappointed.