Monday, December 28, 2009


Sav Killz

Success is Inevitable


Scratchin The Surface

The sincere street workers we accept in NY hip hop are those that are actually good. Everyone peddles their music. Someone will be outside of Fat Beats, used to be on the corner of Beat Street and even posted by J&R Music World. But we don’t give a shit that some of them were really peace—if you bought their cassette (we go that far back) or just listened to their pitch. They gotta be great like Percee P finally proving he was live enough for 60 solo minutes courtesy of the legendary Madlib on his Perserverance LP. Or Justice asking everybody what an MC really is and then showing us with a dominating career from the Best Part of All of the Above to Always Will Be Revealing the Secret of Then What Happened? So if Percee and J-Live were sincere and honorable in their approach we don’t remember it because they made great music. Sav Killz is another truly peace brother whose amiability will be forgotten because his mixtapes are the best ghetto albums you can buy on any corner.

On Success is Inevitable, it seems that he ought to be good by default with everyone’s ill beat as a backdrop and Boot Camp greats and superior MCs like AZ and RZA dropping verses and shouts throughout. But digging through his own mix, Sav Killz’ skill is taped securely. He has a dirty voice and sloppy cadence that seems like he just took the mic from the nigga you know. And that’s where the rawness begins. He slowly shows a strong command on “Comin To Kill” with Sean P and Rustee Juxx where the so-called sloppiness of voice punctuates his words like human snares. While topically, Killz subject matter is just as the title implies and his persistent realness throughout, his fluidity from each freestyle from “Success is Inevitable” to “Show You How To Do This” is his most seasoned attribute. The energy of Medina (Brooklyn) is necessary within Hip Hop and this is Killz greatest appeal. There are some deeper thought tracks that give insight to Sav Killz making actual albums. On “Restless Nights,” his sincere revelations as a struggling artist and makes the frustration at the wack MC succeeding today more than a battle lyric. Ultimately, Sav Killz is one of the most seasoned MCs without a debut album in a long time.

On Scratchin The Surface, the battle styles and fluid verses are even more refined and powerfully ready us for an official debut. The integrity of the art, its impact on artists as him and the society listening at large are all covered even more deeply here. It’s clear that this mixtape has even greater material immediately heard with “Wonder” and “Brooklyn Renaissance” where, on the latter, he matches up easily with the epic/jigga-like/brooding MCs Skyzoo and Sha Stimuli. His intensity and charisma on tracks is increasing as well as on “We Don’t Look to the Skies” and this is really the natural gift that Sav shares with the audience. When this gift becomes beyond extra ordinary he’ll be able to cement a truly consistent career as a hardcore MC. This mixtape aids wonderfully as most of it are actual songs where Sav is actually performing smoothly with other artists as the great back and forth with Spit Supreme on “Hoodlums and Crooks.” On “Vixens and Violencehis versatility speaking on the female persuasion is enhanced by a great sax laden track ” while “#1 Contender” has an even speedier delivery that gives the lyrics the chaotic energy needed. As all Sav Killz works, guest appearances from greats like Hell Razah are expected and thoroughly enjoyed. Scratchin the Surface could work as a top 20 album of the year if it had to and the consistent rise in Sav’s talent displayed suggests he really is just scratchin…

Kevlaar 7

Unbutton Your Holsters, Vol. 1

There is often the question of definitive proof of the Wu-tang Clan being a completely empowering and ever increasing movement of the best Hip Hop ever made. That legends like Killah Priest and Hell Razah come out of Sunz of Man, timeless works like Killarmy’s debut LP exist or memorable works by La the Darkman, Cappa and others only cements them in one era. But when we look for the Wu Saga as a generational continuation of excellence we must first go to Bronze Nazareth, Kevlaar 7 and the Wisemen. While most will openly see Bronze as a beatmaker harkening the golden days well like 9th Wonder, the listeners hear some of the most insightful and pensive lyricism of the decade. As Bronze first came through as part of The Unkown and ushered in The Wisemen, we now must focus on another engaging lyricist in Kevlaar 7.

Only needing that one impeccable verse on “Mixture of Muhammad” from 2007’s Wisemen debut, Wisemen Approaching, Kevlaar’s music is fight music you sit and deeply listen to. This is makes it the next generation of the Wu without question. On Unbutton Your Holsters, 29 cuts only hint at the depth a Kevlaar album may display. “Final Dark Sip” is filled with quotables with rhymed couplets that work off each other seamlessly. The beauty of rising out of depression and defeating oppression is something Kevlaar and his brother Bronze endlessly excel at. The ability to express the most intense anger with calmly delivered lyricism is a Wu elevation from the Rakim school. “Blood Diamonds” is a beautiful display of this as Kevlaar exquisitely notes:

“The Blood Diamond, I'm exploited for the enhanced, 
The band and the clock is tickin, Been in this position, 
Reaching the tipping point, My vision is bending, 
A stigmatism fitting rusty razors through prisms, 
A dealers deal'n a kingpin, Keeping pawns in prison, 
Leaving thirsty lips drip'n, Affliction was they mission...”

Here, Phillie of the Wisemen bluntly states their creed: “Chastise/Ronald Reagan-ize/ Oblivious,
Inferior cause I aint got millions, I'm not serious, Refuse to be a sellout”
On “Streets is My Home” the crack smoke is the inspiration but is relevant to any
and all things our people wastefully inhale. Here Bronze and Sav Killz amazingly hang
with one of Kevlaar’s best verses. With extravagant detail that needs to be rewound again
and again, he begins, “My blood is hazy, smokey gaze/Glazed in ways,
eye lids cook up my hybridI've witnessed every act of violence/ Silence is isolated;
I'm in a crowded basement/ Sitting adjacent, cane vapors raining carbon faces”

to the ultimate summation of “I'm the reason you're homeless habit be speaking in codes/
I explode outcomes, lungs and atoms are blown/The streets is my home, 'cause I need to be sold”
Is this all worthy of being the next generation of the Wu? Easily, this verse would be one of
the best on Raekwon’s superior Only Built For Cuban Linx..Part II.
Unbutton Your Holsters is only a teaser.  It introduces us to the rest of The Wisemen from June Megladon,
Beace and Illa Dayz to keeping Phillie and Salute close by.ose by It gives us some taste of Kevlaar’s beats as
he also has great work on the boards but more than anything it primes us for another great lyricist to emerge
and keep a great movement moving powerfully.


Mic Divine Vol. 1

A chiseled MC is one who we can speak of with good ranking on any of the necessary skills and attributes the MC needs. Some are at unmatched levels on one making none of the others matter. Some are average throughout all rankings but manage. However, the chiseled MC has a developed and high to extremely high mastery of every MC trait. Infinite7Mind, hailing from Union City, New Jersey, is just such an MC. His Mic Divine Vol. 1 is the triumph of an upcoming artist who has put every last ounce of preparation in the performance of this debut work.

While his intensity, focused fury and backing crew of Angelic Army, Azigalaw and Lyrical Ruckus, it all harkens back to the epitome of Jedi Mind Tricks and Killarmy ciphers, yet Infinite’s talent is more KRS-like in his ability to cleverly tackle any and all subjects, the obvious battle tracks uniquely presented, the expected storytelling with special detail and the most arcane of ideas shared.

Expert flow, cadence and wordplay is the norm throughout an album filled with battle verses of an epic lore, great choices on classic tracks to rhyme over and surprisingly refined work on the boards by Maleet, Black Famine and Righteouz Knight on the new backing cuts. The signature battle cut “Lyrical Attack” where we see best here that Infinite7Mind’s boasting has such vivid martial detail is repeated throughout. Yet where Inf excels most is on the endless subject matter. Whether speaking on the Cuban Revolution and its preservation and proliferation everywhere in deft Spanish verses on “Revolucion 2009,” the understood pain of his biological who didn’t bother on “Fallen Angel,” the amazingly applicable metaphysical insights on “Time and Space” and the superior duet with Azigalaw on Christmas for “Yule-Tide,” Infinite has so much more to explore in this offering making this mixtape a best of Infinite for the last ten years.

There are few artists appearing with actual teachings and insight to convey along with a perfectly delivered manner that reinvigorates the greatest vibe of the MC. With Mic Divine Vol. 1, Infinite7Mind is the best new artist of the year we’ve waited so long to hear from.