Pittsburgh has born its share of successful rappers. From Wiz Khalifa to Mac Miller, in the last decade the Steel City has become a reputable hip-hop city. Anthony “Villain 151” Sisco, 30, released his last album, “The Long Road Home,” on Nov. 5.
“The Long Road Home” is an understatement, for it took Villain 151 two years to complete the project. In 2011, when he initially began recording the album, Villain 151 was depressed upon returning home from a Washington D.C relocation. Self-medicating with alcohol to cope with his reluctant return, Villain 151 realized he had to cease production, so he could create the album with a clear mind. “I was depressed when I wrote the first half of this album and you can actually hear it in some of the songs,” said the Pittsburgh rapper.
In April 2013, he returned to the studio healthy and finished what he calls “his best work.” “I can’t top this album. It would be hard for me to even try,” said Villain 151. “It’s a journey of failure, redemption, hope, and love; meaning that everyone has a journey and it’s always complicated.”
Villain 151 first picked up a mic at 13, linked up with 3 other rappers, and formed a group called P.A.B.
As a group, they released three albums: pabrecords.com (2004) (which lead to conversations with Def Jam Recordings), The Re-Up (2003) and Perfection @ Its Best (2000). Villain 151 then went on to release five solo albums: Live From the Bassment (2005), Welcome 2 My City (2007), Bacardi Nites (2010), iPAB (2010), and Bacardi Nites 2 (2012). The Long Road Home summarizes and concludes a lengthy rap career for Villain 151, selling thousands of albums and performing all over the country.
An album favorite is number nine, “Proud,” featuring Kara Starver, is a song written to his mother, Sharon, and his three younger sisters. The song has a Tupac Dear Momma feel, reminiscing on the sacrifices his mother made to move him, his siblings, and his cousins further east of the city limits.
Villain 151 reflected on his mother’s influence, “She’s been my rock. She never settled for less. She never gave up.” Lyrically, Villain 151’s rhythmic cry to the women in his family makes for a catchy family tune.
The album flowed from beginning to end with lively beats and several clever plays on words. The moments where Villian 151’s depression does seep through the songs it makes the album that much more relatable. For 18 tracks and 64 minutes, The Long Road Home made for enjoyable hip-hop music.
Unlike most rappers, Villain 151 has a lucrative career with a local financial institution. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in marketing and a M.B.A. from Waynesburg University in marketing also. He plans to “fade into the working world” and aid other young rappers in creating their own music.
The Long Road Home is available on iTunes and can be purchased at Time Bomb, Upbeat Records, and select CD Warehouse locations.
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