It’s strange how sometimes the most celebrated battle rappers from the streets get signed to record labels, then put out studio albums that aren’t worth two dead flies. From Jin to Craig G and beyond, countless emcees with blazing improv skills often cough up little more than phlegm on commercial releases.

So when champion freestyler Supernatural — who’s arguably one of the best battle rappers in history — spewed his latest, S.P.I.T. (Spiritual Poetry Ignites Thought), expectations were actually low. See, Supernat’s been mesmerizing audiences with his uncanny gift of gab for more than a decade, but can his studio rhymes generate the same excitement of his live on-stage wordplay? No.

Here he’s got a few superior tracks that bang out with precision, but his collaborations with other artists come off flat; check the lackluster "Gunfire" with Cypress Hill’s B-Real, or "Black Opera," which sports a weak Raekwon rap and doesn’t have a drop of cohesion. It’s obvious that Supernatural is never one to shy away from showcasing his vocabulary, but S.P.I.T. won’t build on his legacy. He’ll be lucky if it doesn’t give his competitors plenty of ammo in future battles.

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