It starts to look like a trend: the best records of the year are free. Not in the I’ll-torrent-the-shit-out-of-it way, but in a way where the artist doesn’t have a record-deal and decides to put it out there himself. After So Far GoneNostalgia, ULTRA and Acid Rap, Mr. Probz follows in these footsteps and releases The Treatment. It was a long time coming, but the Dutch rapper made it worth the wait.

“They say you only live once, but I done came back twice”, Mr. Probz says on the title track. What sounds like a cliché, is actually an understatement. After surviving a serious car-crash and a bullet trough his stomach, Probz had to escape his house and studio after a fire broke out in the middle of the night. Instead of using it as a marketing tool1, he described the feeling of getting shot as a shameful experience, realizing he’d only completed one percent of his goals in life. With the release of The Treatment, he can cross “Releasing a great album” off his to-do-list. For those who know Mr. Probz as the guy on Joe Budden’s Long Way To Go2 and loved him there, this album is a must-download. For those who don’t know Mr. Probz yet, go slam your head against the door, do some deep Googling and YouTubing and then come back.

Moody vocals, minor chords and simple, but well-delivered lyrics are omnipresent on The Treatment. The minimalistic production style complements Mr. Probz’ raw, soulful voice, but also gives most tracks the same vibe. This leads to a cohesive album, that at times gives you the feeling you’re listening to the same songs over and over again. That’s as much an accomplishment -each track has the same high quality- as it is a flaw. There are no real stand-out tracks and the one that does stand out musically (Do it All Again), sounds a lot like Waves, Mr. Probz’ biggest hit, which is only included on the limited physical copies and not available on the SoundCloud-stream below. What does stand out, is Mr. Probz’ voice. He makes the most recycled subjects (bad relationships, perfectionism, betrayal) and lyrics (“The streets is cold and Karma’s a real bitch, yo / I’m doing circles like I’m living in a fish bowl”) sound honest and relatable and the delivery never misses it’s target. You can feel the effort Probz has put into this project, and it pays off.

Mr. Probz - The Treatment
80%

  1. You know, like 50 Cent used his “getting shot nine times” as a good entry point into the rap world.
  2. If you haven’t here‘s another great free mixtape a.k.a. album: Mood Muzik 3

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