The release of Planetary’s first solo project is indeed a highly anticipated and significant moment in his enduring underground hip-hop career. As one half of the celebrated Philadelphia duo Outerspace and a core member of the legendary AOTP ( Army of the Pharaohs), Planetary has made a name for himself on the global underground hip-hop scene for over two decades.
The arrival of Planetary’s first solo project is a moment that brings a mix of surprise and inevitability. While it might have been unexpected for some, it also represents a natural progression in his artistic journey. The decision to entrust the production solely to his son, ELEMXNT, adds a personal and familial dimension to the project, highlighting the continuity of talent within his creative lineage.
“Project Pluto” kicks off with “Ruin Your Life,” a truly exhilarating introduction that plunges listeners into a captivating soundscape. This track immerses the audience in a sea of inspirational movie quotes passionately shouted over the backdrop of rolling piano keys. These quotes aren’t just sound bites; they act as a blazing catalyst, igniting the listener’s inner fighting spirit.
It’s as if Planetary’s subconscious takes control of the track, wielding it as a vessel to compel his flesh not to let the fire inside wane. The message is clear: there’s still so much left to achieve, and this track becomes a rallying cry, urging all who hear it to rise up.
As soon as Planetary comes out the gate, you can’t help but draw parallels to the iconic scene from Rocky III. Sylvester Stallone’s character, despite being bloodied and battered, rises from the canvas and marches forward like an unstoppable force, refusing to yield after a near-defeat by Clubber Lang. Maybe it’s a “Philly thing”? The initial tone is a more than fitting set up as it instills an indomitable determination in its listeners, making it a powerful and motivating opening to “Project Pluto.”
On “You Know Who I Am” and “Where the Legends Are“, Planetary makes it abundantly clear that he’s not your run-of-the-mill MC; his status and presence are nothing short of royalty. He Follows up this assertion by making it a family affair, All three of his sons ELEMXNT, Trxstworthy, and Kxng Charisma join in the dart throwing, for a hard-hitting posse cut titled “Vainglory“. It’s an exciting development that showcases the collaborative spirit within his family.
In “Holy Water,” Planetary returns solo, showcasing his hallmark style that garnered him recognition throughout his career. Throughout the core of the album, his signature style remains consistent with what his fans have come to appreciate and expect from the Philly veteran.
Stand-out tracks like”Get Slumped” allow Planetary to explore a bouncier flow, allowing him to define a pocket that creates an undeniable magnetic groove, while “One Two” gives Planetary the opportunity to display the depth of his mastery, with hard-hitting multi-syllable barbs.
“Project Pluto” closes out on a softer note, with Planetary offering a more subdued delivery, complemented by Lawrence Arnell’s soothing R&B vocals. This final track serves as an introspective moment, a heartfelt realization that despite traumas and unforeseeable circumstances, giving up is not a viable option, especially when it comes to fulfilling promises to one’s family.
It adds a layer of depth and emotional resonance to the album, showcasing Planetary’s ability to deliver not only hard-hitting bars but also introspective and heartfelt content. It’s a poignant ending that leaves a lasting impression on the listener.
As someone who’s familiar with Planetary’s history, I was compelled to ask.
AOR: WHAT INSPIRED THIS SOLO RELEASE? WHY NOW?
“My kids. Studio in the basement, hearing them crank out beats and verses and getting so good I had to get back in bar mode. I was missing something in my life and it was def constant music making so we got busy” – Planetary
The essence of life itself is beautifully encapsulated in moments like the one depicted in “Project Pluto.” It’s not just a personal journey for Planetary; it symbolizes the passing of the torch, a roadmap to success forged through a profound bonding experience. This, in essence, is the true significance of “Project Pluto” and why it stands as a milestone in Philadelphia underground hip-hop.
It’s a project that not only resonates with listeners but also serves as a testament to the enduring spirit of the genre, where artists pass on their wisdom and experiences to the next generation, ensuring that the legacy of authentic hip-hop lives on. For collectors of underground hip-hop, it’s a must-have, a piece of art that embodies the essence of the culture. It’s also proof Planetary has not lost a step and remains loaded with ammo.
Project Pluto Tracklist:
- Ruin Ya Life
- You Know Who I Am (cuts by DJ Eclipse)
- Where The Legends Are
- Vainglory (ft. ELEMXNT, Trxstworthy, Kxng Charisma) [cuts by DJ TMB]
- Holy Water (cuts by DJ TMB)
- I Get It
- The Bicentennial
- Self-Destruction (ft. WRD Life)
- It’s Elementary
- Get Slumped
- One Two
- Keep On (ft. Lawrence Arnell)