Tuesday, September 13, 2011


The work of a Hip Hop journalist is not to chronicle the paparazzi’d actions of the now-crossed over version of this genre of music. Every last publication on the planet trying to succeed financially covering versions of rhymes and breaks can only do so by covering the most cosmetic with all day lenses. They work to make the hustle of the fake the reality of our victory. But. The Hip Hop writer, a man of letters of all things real, can only go in the cipher to build. The chips earned may only get us two more audio fixes but we know that if we just helped them hear this..this shit right here..they’ll get it...

“Catch your casket driftin

Unbutton holsters, embroider clips in

Chicago bear cough clip ya snare off

Pick six to carry off his coffin

While I’m lofting

Pterodactyl off of white widow endorsement”

-“The Road”

It’s Bronze Nazareth’s sophomore album, School For the Blindman recently released where I had the honor of building with him and presenting a specific set of his ideas to Hip Hop DX ( http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/news/id.16828/title.bronze-nazareth-explains-conceptual-growth-as-emcee-learning-from-rza). Bronze is a supreme beat maker and those mostly intrigued by the drum have earned him countless beatmaker props. Props for the talent that only wraps his true gift as an MC and a leader of one of the fastest developing groups in Hip Hop today, the Wisemen. Below is the best of the rest of our build…

SUNEZ: This new School for Blindman album took a couple of years, four since The Great Migration. Why was the Wisemen’s Children of a Lesser God released before Blindman?

BRONZE NAZARETH: What they didn’t want to happen was kind of a deflation. They didn’t want School for Blindman to come out and then everybody got their fix. Then Wisemen come and out and people be like ‘we good right now.’ It’s kind of like a marketing strategy as far as placement of when it should come out and what the reaction would be. I felt like if we gave people School for Blindman then no one’s coming back for a while again and then when the Wisemen came out it would be kind of ignored. I don’t know if that was the right strategy but it did help because in the time that I was waiting to get my shit and we was doin the Wisemen thing I got a few more features so it kind of rounded out.

SUNEZ: As I reviewed Children I thought the sound was the most progressive in Hip Hop I’ve heard today. But it didn’t get the promotion or the coverage it deserved. Horrible actually.

BRONZE: Indeed. It was Hip Hop but it wasn’t so stuck in the Wu-Tang form that I’ve even seen my Wu-Tang fans say ‘Yo, this don’t sound like the last one’ and they was disappointed. But on the other hand just straight Hip Hop dudes was like, ‘Yo, this is bangin’. I mean you know how it go. You can’t please everybody and it was just different. It was experimental but it was all real Hip Hop. I think it’s still hangin in there. It’s still moving units.


SUNEZ: I also have to note that Phillie pulled a Phife on Low End Theory on this one. I ‘m not as surprised by Phillie as I was Phife but Phillie really reached another level of lyrical ability. That “Faith Doctrine” verse is a clinic in swagger.

BRONZE: I told him that was my favorite verse on that album. It was just so much feeling in that verse. And he’s droppin names but it’s not in the game way, it’s in a respectable way showing that yo, we on the same level as these dudes. That was my shit my dude. You on point homie.

SUNEZ: And my favorite part of that video was when you tossed that kid on the wall!

BRONZE: Haha! Dude stepped in front of the camera.

SUNEZ: Phillie got a solo album coming too, right?

BRONZE: I just can’t wait to release the shit we got comin. Even after my shit, he got Welcome to the Detroit Zoo. That’s coming and it’s crazy. All Phil, just gutter, just real Hip Hop. I’m excited about his work too.

SUNEZ: The Kevlaar Die Ageless LP is immediately after tho?

BRONZE: The muthafukn bomb for them. He’s been crafting that for a while. Just look for that to make a great impact. Kev is well thought out so he gon give some deep thoughts. He likes to put alotta knowledge and wisdom in his works. And he’s a reader too so you can expect some heavy shit too.


SUNEZ: What’s the recording process for Wisemen like?

BRONZE: I been working on the flows hard so I might come in the lab for “Corn Liquor [Thoughts].” I got this. But see how I’m sayin my words in between this one, this snare we might lay it out how I flowed it. Then Kev might look at it and say ‘I gotchu.’ And that, June Meg will look at it and be okay I’m on it. It’s like the telephone game where you tell a person one thing and as it gets to the last person it’s all crazy. To a certain extent it gets like that because everybody’s flows could be different but at the end it’s kind of all like the same. We starting with the same foundation but everybody’s putting their bricks on it. It really is the beat telling us what to do.

SUNEZ: In your production work is there a lot of verse cut and paste?

BRONZE: It’s pretty much where it lays at. It might be a verse on there that was cut and we move everybody up. But give us a verse that ain’t nobody feelin it gets cut. And there’s no animosity or nothing like that…Everything is pretty much where it was laid at. We don’t really move verses to different songs ever. It’s all organic.

SUNEZ: How would that work with the live band Project Lionheart. Are they on School for the Blindman?

BRONZE: I got Project Lionheart on I think four of them. They not on there a lot but like on “Gomorrah” it was awesome. It was so complementary. I really do it by beat. I’m like, ‘Yo, this could use something else. Boom, let’s send it over.’ But if it’s something where I feel it doesn’t need anything else in it I just roll with it like that.


“First forty eight hours is never seen

No force could measure me

The hunts off when they endorse my treasury

Yellow apparition”

-“The Road”

SUNEZ: How’d you meet up with fellow Gun Rule [Grand Rapids] brethren, La the Darkman? It’s interesting you now have a feature of another Wu-Fam MC we may have not heard from in a long time.  Great Migration had Killa Sin (“The Bronzeman”) while we got La on School (“Fire Implanters”). 
BRONZE:  That’s my dude.  We really got to click at the Wu-Tang Rebirth Tour they did at Grand Rapids.  I met up with La there and we really kicked it that night.  He’s always been proud of me so he was like ‘yo, what you need’ so from that point it was like he dropped me a verse real tight… Show was in January and he got it to me 2 months after.  Definitely fresh and new.

That’s a good parallel cuz that’s one of the Killa Beez that didn’t get the shine like the generals but still got that type of talent. I think the one with LA is a little bit slower but definitely comparable as far as mood. Very soulful and just hard lyrics. Good parallel, my brother.


SUNEZ: “Poem Burial Ground.” Lyrically dense and even difficult to recite slowly. Are these one take songs or are there any punch ins. How do you practice that?

BRONZE: I’m about 50/50. Half the time I can feel it with one take down. Other times it might be I’m running out of breath with this line but let me come in on a new one with the same energy. Cuz I feel like you recording to get the shit perfect. Live performances-- then we go all out. But when recording you’re recording to put it on that wax perfectly. But like I said I’m about 50/50 on one take. Other times I might piece something together but never too much. I try to keep the rhymes where they’re not so complicated where I’m trying to fit too many words. My problem with writing is the battle with saying what I want to say versus making it fit right. So sometimes the delivery might change the words or the words shape the delivery.

With “Poem Burial Ground,” when I wrote it I actually said I’m gonna try to rhyme everything like PUN. I swear to God that’s exactly what I said to myself. And you heard me on “Hear What I Say,” Love Pac and Big but I miss PUN the most.

SUNEZ: [“Hear What I Say”]… is still true today for you?

BRONZE: You could take that song and apply them to some of the names that are out here today. And that song was nothing but truth because it was my truth. I sat down with the pen and I was just discussing with the game one day. I gotta let this out. I’m one of them dudes. That’s how I let it out. That’s how I let the beast out. I just put the pen down on it so I just down everything for real I was pretty much feeling. Probably never be as big as Jay-Z or Slim Shady. I felt like I should be but I probably never will be. And for an artist that’s really trying to get out there and for him to get down to a level and say I never will it’s just some real shit. So that whole shit was just honest feelings.

SUNEZ: What was the writing process on “Black Royalty”?

BRONZE: I made that beat a year or two before I layed it, man. I had the beat and it was something that sounded real different. So one day I was sitting in the lab, in the studio right out here in Detroit and I was just in the zone. It was like that day all my words was just falling in place. And the shit that got me was the flow and every lyric was just there. I don’t know man. I was just in the zone. I had a lot going on in my life at that point. I don’t know. That’s what came out. I called Kevlaar like the minute I wrote it. Yo, I just wrote this shit. It only took a couple of hours and I didn’t do any changes, no adjustments. None of that shit to that joint. The way I wrote it is the way it came out.

SUNEZ: Shit! So shit like “Follow a spiral staircase into my brain wave…” is one take?!

Bronze: I was goin through some shit with this girl. I was just in the zone. Like, ‘Yo, if you could really see inside. Take a spiral staircase into my brain waves.’ That’s just raw emotion and being blessed with this talent with the pen.


SUNEZ: How was it producing the Remarkable Timing album for 60 Second Assassin?

BRONZE: I think 60 is magical on the beats as far as his thought process, his words. I just feel if he updated the delivery people would feel it more. And it was a lot of cutting and putting different verses in different places. I just think that if he had a more—the environment he was working in was like, ‘Let’s get these five songs done in the next two hours.’ It was kind of like a rush on his artistry so I think if he had more time to bang something out like work on his shit until he feels it’s done I think it would have been a better result. But it is what it is. Still, I think it really came together and was a nice album. I think if he wasn’t rushed he could’ve been more himself but I think it’s still a nice joint.


“Records so sharp DJs slash they finger

We chop trees never yelling timber

float off on leaves cough and weeze of Magellan drifter
Off the Richter, scale triple beam, coffin lifter

Subliminal, seminal often lifted

Incredibly criminal, how they doze off on the discus”

-“Fresh From the Morgue”

SUNEZ: Today’s digital world hampers the culture of digging in the crates? Are you still getting dirty with the vinyl?

BRONZE: I still go to record stores. I do get and order some CDs online or order a record I saw. It’s real title by title for me. I’m still looking at records like right now. They’re dipped over here on the table. I still love the sound of the turntable. It’s got that underground basement dirty type of sound underneath the bass and the sound, all the crackling. Nowadays you can clean that up if you need to but I still go to records as my main source. …It’s tradition. I was raised in Hip Hop so you gotta have a DJ, you gotta work with records. Times change and cats now might just download everything but go find a record .


“Burn you after murder spree then I off the witness

Double dutch and I don’t mean to rope, I’m off the benches

Coughin' endless, cumulus blends, off of genius intentions”

-“The Road”

SUNEZ: Your music is the Blues score of our day. How do y’all present your universal themes and the concepts y’all draw up?

BRONZE: We sit and deal with concepts too but a lot of the time it’s just like that real life theme. And it’s we involve things that we do in our lives in our music. We out here trying to bring our wisdom to the kids and teach the kids. So that’s what we’re out here doing. And that’s gon reflect in our music. When we’re goin’ through these life lessons and hoping somebody soaks it up from there. Definitely man, it’s all intentional as far as theme versus having a certain concept for a whole album or whole song. We do it all. Like Kev came with the concept for Who Got the Camera? being all political. It’s still more and kind of out the box cuz it ain’t just a whole album saying the “government is this, that and the other.” It’s also an album of Kev going through that struggle and then Kev sees the good side of being on the boulevard. It’s more like an all-inclusive theme.

SUNEZ: Today, there are no black leaders for us. No Black or Brown—no original men that offer us true representation, no leaders. Just the MCs, the Art of our music is left. Yet if I build on Culture in Supreme Mathematics it has the add on of Freedom to it. It reminds us that the true Culture doesn’t hinder but allows us the Freedom to reveal our Power and reach a greater Equality. But this 4th degree also has the note of Freedom in it because the 85, the ignorant, assume Culture inhibits and ruins Freedom as they seek to do whatever they want, that savage in the pursuit of happiness. As an artist, does the Culture of representing a deeper ethic and principle inhibit your Freedom? Most artists consider it all a roadblock in their Art.`

BRONZE: I don’t think I find it as much binding as it is about being responsible. You ain’t gon find me—You know I dealt with guns. We did things in the streets or whatever but when we talk about it, it’s like I’m telling you this to show you something. We not the type of niggas to be like ‘we grinding. We gon bust shots at these dudes. We finna fuck it. We don’t care.’ It’s less of a vicious mentality and more so a survival mentality. We don’t do the ‘we’re out here serving the rocks.’ It’s “yo I had to serve rocks/ to get pops outta the lock.’ It’s got to have a meaning. And the real listener is gonna hear the difference between the dude who’s just saying this shit cuz he just wildin outor wanna sound out there, as opposed to somebody who’s saying something for a reason.

SUNEZ: That’s real peace my brother.

Monday, August 15, 2011

BOOM BAP! Like This Anna…No Jigganiggin Here

"Teachers teach and do the world good/kings just rule and most are never understood/If you were to rule or govern a certain industry/All inside this room right now would be in misery/No one would get along nor sing a song/'cause everyone'd be singing for the king, am I wrong?!"
-KRS-One of Boogie Down Productions - "My Philosophy" (1988)

Let’s take seats where the people are. Off the golden throne sliding down the pile of shit all to realize the grit was muffled by the coon-coon pip popping. That grimy grit on repeat is really the Boom Bap. Today it is the way real brothers search for a shed of enlightenment’s forum they once knew and the way the fakest jot justifications on digiwax. It all seems 9thWonder was respectfully polite when he said the feeling wasn’t there on Jay-Z and Kanye’s Watch The Throne. But the media scribbler’s politeness is a mask in the broader shell of media’s authority, where you can be in it when it suits and suit it up to fit it in. Where is the brolically inclined writer to shit on the whole industry while the scribbler lacks the righteous reason and the measure of the refined to backbone this counter culture?! The snare coffin holds many a motherfucka with electro junk effects, computer blip locking mechanisms, fortifying American dream packaging and emo gender bending lamination that coats the b-boy insight as mere bitter hate.

But Boom Bap has too many examples for this writer. I ain’t gotta wait for another month for Bronze’s School to open and S.P.T.A’s like J-Live to release. Boom Bap is now being made relevant. The relevant where you’ll say that beat is Art now and twenty years later, that lyric is the raw portrait, that flow is the Black talent, the Black that knows it’s Brown too and Yellow too and for the downtrodden. But it’s never disingenuous, always passionately building but never haphazardly hit making cuz “rap is not pop if you call it that and stop.”


An incredible album that is an addictive study of Boom Bap. Large Professor is a legend like the old school makes them. It isn’t because of the classic works or the consistency of his work when it appears. His catalog is not at the length of other legendary producers (i.e. RZA, DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Muggs, etc.) but it’s the essence of what real relevance means. It means that Large Professor career is as a Hip Hop musician that furthered, and continues to further, the culture. His decisions to work with, promote and educate the great MCs and producers around him are just as crucial. Large Professor is relevant, relevant like Yip Man to all Kung Fu.

Neek the Exotic is one of the many that had real life slow his real wax. Yet, throughout the too short Still on the Hustle, his intensity and precise pacing merge with just superior beat quality. Large Professor leads with his sound of incredible bass drums that boom boom bap pound into grooving basslines. This is the shit that gives speakers work exemplified by the title track, one of the best songs of the year and may be the greatest example of Boom Bap just yet.


The Boom Bap album of the year as legendary Pete Rock gives Smif N Wessun their second classic album for this brother here. The nostalgic appeal of Pete Rock is noted as his horns while the strength relayed of him are his layered drums yet the binding power he conveys is in the depth of his bassline grooves. The horns are all over the place but they are ruggedly designed for Tek and Steele by merging them into the bassline grooves just as the horn blasts into a bass’d sigh on “(I’m A) Stand Up Guy” or the parade procession on the title track. Yet it’s Pete using evil violins (“That’s Hard”) or melodic chimes (“Fire”) or guitar stabs (“Go Off”) to provoke the bassline grooves that lead us into a diversity that can only be appreciated by indulging the Boom Bap addiction. These are tracks to be explored in endless repeat. These tracks are thick without the open spaces pop tracks treble up and leave barren. The breaks are all unique and differentiated while the pacing is perfected to the MCs they are directed to.


If Boom Bap could go righteously pop it was with Dilla with crisp snares and a spacing that allowed singers to sing and melodies to take center stage. The righteous pop baton is still in Detroit with Black Milk as he is a master of the digital drum. Often hollow and over punctuated, his snares deliberately make the joint bounce (“Understand This”) with utter simplicity or become part of a layered soup Sean Price and Guilty Simpson verse through (“ Monster Babies”). Black Milk is a digital orchestra with a core foundation of Boom Bap propelling all his tracks. Random Axe is the ideal example.


The lyrical effort of the year from the one of the greatest MCs of all time. Like Ghostface Killah, every MC category from pacing, flow, content, lyrical dexterity, wordplay, etc. are all excelled in at the most supreme heights. The perfected MC excels best on Boom Bap and here it is an abundance that is far from typical. Monch possesses so many dynamic cadences and melodic shifts that the beds to perform best will not be as stripped minimalist as say a Guru or GZA would have them. Yet the core of Boom Bap is that the drum breaks guide even when the music is epic Rock styled (“Grand Illusion”), straight wild funk (“Haile Selassie Karate”) or just an off beat break that pops as Monch’s revelations unfold (“Shine”). The best lyrical effort of the first half of the year is directed, guided and supported by quality Boom Bap.


Nothing is the same without RZA. RZA produces work for the particular MC. Every other Wu work without RZA sporadically achieves that even when beatmakers give their best. It really is up to the MC to select right but he may not know exactly how his voice ought to be compressed, drums equalized around him or the pacing that suits his flow and themes best. Ghost , GZA and Masta Killa have fared best in this while Raekwon has stumbled often. After the incredible reprise of Cuban Linx and its pyrex hells illuminated further, Raekwon continues throughout Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang to choose quality tracks that allow him to continue to be one of the livest Boom Bap MCs in history. The soul samples and drum snares are abundant and they are of a driving style (i.e. “Butter Knives,” “Snake Pond,” “Rich and Black,” “The Scroll”) that allows him to perfect the wonderfully sinister vocal pace he’s developed.


A fruit of Killarmy’s Dom Pachino the Puerto Rican Terrorist, Bugsy is hardly content oriented to show and prove he’s God of the Nation of God and Earth at all (i.e. the cross on the cover can't help) but there is a strong street consciousness there ("Cell Diaries). While Bugsy's voice is extremely similar to Holocaust/Warcloud he has real stories, quality battle raps and a consistent flow that syllables on beat. Produced by unknowns earning a rep (Labmatik) and Wu-Elements (4th Disciple and Bronze Nazareth), the thump is pure Killarmy adrenaline as when 4th thick clap snare comes in off the organ melody on “Dogs in Heat” or the rugged blues Bronze throws on “The Sound of Gunz.” This is hardcore Boom Bap from the Wu inspired root where there is a wonderfully embraced ignorance of anything pop. What the fuck is Pop? is the sound of the snare and who the fuck is billboard? the sound of the bass drum.


An unfair record to introduce oneself to Elzhi as a homage to Illmatic entails verses that cleverly paraphrase NaS’ perfection. This reveals talent but may also be dismissed. However, if you we do more than act like we fucking know then his 2008 album The Preface is the superior near-classic album that this mixes into. Elzhi has all the skills from dexterity, word construction, pacing, flow, vocal clarity and a context from the street as the average real brother. Detroit is the new home of superior Boom Bap and Elzhi’s mic technique is as tough as Black Milk’s snares or as brutal as Bronze Nazareth’s blues’d bass drums. Elmatic can have the same problem with the beats but the live work of the Will Sessions makes the Illmatic instrumentals redone into some of the greatest remakes/renditions of classic material one can hear. If this quality and powerful resonance they achieve here is used to propel original material and new vocals from Elzhi then Preface is certainly elmatically driven to a classic.


Musically, this original collection is only derivative of the Wu-sound so the experimental freshness of the RZA isn’t here. The live band excels strong because of the thick basslines that are so strong they overpower melodic accompaniments that do little. The production works to create the Wu sound but is obsessed with doing it minimalist as the RZA is historicized as doing. On tracks as “Diesel Fluid,” “Laced Cheeba” and “Black Diamonds” it certainly works because the Wu MCs, especially Ghost here, are incredible and effortlessly able to work the tracks. However, the RZA verses are so strong in content (“Start the Show,” “225 Rounds”) and intensity (“Only the Rugged Survive”) they deserve more than just amped bass. Still, this also reveals that the core of Wu is Boom Bap and with nothing else they excel powerfully as expected.


First get past Ill Bill’s (and disappointingly my man Vinnie Paz too) completely not right and exact obsession with idolizing Malachi Z. York, a bloodsucker of the poor who packaged the truth of street spirituality and historical scholarship of the Nation of God and Earth, Nation of Islam, the great Black Books scholars (i.e. Ivan Van Sertima, Cheikh Anta Diop, etc.) around fabrications of his awkwardly ever-morphing, unproven special divinity over others and his fantastical tales that are mixed in to make his package uniquely special. Now or End?!! If that can be done, there really is no Paz work that isn’t guided by authentic Boom Bap. HMK is filled with thudding drums (“The Final Call”) or epic breaks with mean basslines (“Keeper of the Seven Keys”) and becomes a place to find the next beatmakers. For now, C-Lance has the Jedi Mind Tricks sound mastered with gothic lore and crunchy breaks.


Reviewed months earlier, Hasan Salaam and Rugged N Raw only know Boom Bap. They live and breathe Boom Bap and their work sounds like nothing coming off the stale chair Jigga and Ye are sitting on. If you’ve ever seen Salaam draw out the illest Boom Bap out of a Jazz band or Rugged walk into a venue raw, climb the stage and drop perfectly paced bars immediately, then you know that their catalogs are about Boom Bap. The Mo Danger album is filled with raw and up and coming beatmakers that reveal the great decision making of the MCs and excellent engineering work to blend such unique vocal talents.


Also reviewed months earlier, Kevlaar joins Bronze as leading the movement of rugged Hip Hop blues on wax. The insightful rich and poetically pensive EP is filled with the Boom Bap blues that are synonymous with all the Wisemen works. While Kevlaar doesn’t need outside producers, he fills the EP with great choices that in line with his ethic. Too many sellout rappers, who are far more educated than they promote, are given credit for just noting the slightest social catastrophe around them. When one hears Kevlaar do it without sacrificing the beat thump or rhyme flow to go that much further with detail and proposing solutions, we can see the disingenuousness that is floating in our main streams.


This quality joint by Ortiz is not near a superior Boom Bap event even though there are great highlights as”Oh” produced by Large Professor, “Sing Like Bilal” by DJ Premier. Nevertheless, Ortiz is a Boom Bap MC. His flow bounces on the snare and provokes the neck jerk immediately. No, he is no PUN and the homage can cross the line by over-jigganiggin the quotes and the references. Yet Free Agent has none of that problem and when the Boom Bap orchestra is there, Ortiz will be even more mighty.


These two albums are from two of the top 5 greatest MCs of all time. The reality of rhyming on Boom Bap is virtually created by them alone and absolutely revolutionized and furthered by them. However, G Rap’s Riches is plagued by beat sampling that is too derivative while Showbiz, the great Diggin in the Crates crew producer, really seems to be offering an experimental minimalist technique that lacks the horn driven Bronx ruggedness of his best works. Still, these albums are still Boom Bap driven and are above any mainstream record you stake your namedrake on.

Now the God Planet Asia is here because he is a Boom Bap MC that achieved greatness in 2008 with DJ Muggs on their Pain Language album, a clinic of Boom Bap. He continued that with last years group offering, Gold Chain Military but Crack Belt is missing breaks and that pulse RZA so often builds on. There are rare glimspes like the snare sustaining "Boilermakers" by Madlib and the horn thumping "Mixtape Madness." Still, Asia is one of the great Boom Bap MCs coming from the OO's.

With all this Boom Bap we can dump all the Coon Pip immediately. Yet remember that Coon Pip exists. It can be the shit that fertilizes the realest fruit but only if we know it as shit. Until then, those on the throne will have their A&Rs, those mountain climbers playing electric guitars, who will write the history wrong again. Always without knowing the meaning of dope...

Peace, Sunez

Sunday, August 14, 2011

67 Mob - T.I.M.E.

Hip Hop is a Black and Brown music from the few, with all the Black and Brown in their heart, created and made to be sincerely shared to anyone. It isn't supposed to be made for everyone. That's selling out. That means that not everyone can make it. But “now we got white kids calling themselves niggas” and pop electro synth with talk on it being hailed as “boom bap” as Jay-Z recently has. So when we see more white people there is either an extreme suspension of disbelief and we front hardcore or we love the unalike and the oppressor again and give them all time rank and play immediately. Both extremes don’t help a music that should be made and heard by anyone sincere with something to say uniquely and incredibly.

67 Mob’s sophomore effort, T.I.M.E. is produced by Domingo completely, and have another strong producer guiding them and with great feature MCs from KRS-One and Sean P to the new generation’s Joell Ortiz and Bronze Nazareth they have to work hard again. While they continue to brag and boast mostly there is more work on their ideas about making Hip Hop music and coming from embraced Hip Hop cultural elements (i.e. “Karma Will Come Back”). Often their voices are too high pitched and digital but where they only ranked just below average on flow and content on their debut, T.I.M.E. is filled with improved flows and increased cleverness considerably. There is real homework on their flows, double time pacing and keeping on break worked on here.

As an Original man of immediate Puerto Rican blood from Sunset Park, Brooklyn, my suspension of disbelief with their debut album, Raising the Bar (2009), was only halted by complete production from Bronze Nazareth and continued with Domingo working the boards. These brothers are Italians from Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, two of the most racist, despicable hoods in my youth. They are not hoods we Sunset niggas could easily spill into to break, rap and beat box. Yet with white hoes saying “nigga” and Eminem holding MC crowns from sellout media, 67 Mob are brothers worthy of a listen and maybe it begins cuz they “was raised in Bensonhurst and now rest in Gunset”(“Get Down and Grind”). Their rhymes care about the principles and art of Hip Hop and they can continue to honor their people absolutely as they have something to share about themselves and their people. If 67 Mob continue to align their LPs with 100% production from a great beatmaker, continue to take the craft seriously as they have and most importantly, share their true Italian Brooklyn experience honestly then that’s real Hip Hop, the artistic insights of the rarely heard. I look forward to it sincerely as well.


Sunday, March 6, 2011


To achieve the highly anticipated debut album without hype, propaganda and the co-sign of the payola patrons is one of the greatest feats in Hip Hop today. The realest ones do it the old school way. They can drop mixtape after mixtape of tight material and endless cameos and production features that entice us. So we get the ill like Termanology or Joell Ortiz or eLZhi. They were developing before our eyes and they gotta get the props from us. But there are others that appear with a mixtape or two or a million and their beginning is at the peak of everything else out at the moment. Some call out Jay Electronica and they can wait for an ill Roc album. That’s peace but the God I’ve called out is from Detroit, brother of already great Bronze Nazareth, with that sick Unbutton Your Holsters mixtape: Kevlaar 7.

With this EP, Who Got the Camera?, who cannot marvel at an MC that has now dominated every chamber of released music without a solo album. Appearing capably on Bronze’ debut classic “Who can fuck with me on the table of elements/Hand me a mic and I'll melt MC's irrelevant...” (“Detroit”), then exploding on their Wisemen group’s debut, Wisemen Approaching, with the solo feature “Mixture of Muhammad” (“Intense incense, spread fear and icey whispers/Deliver, flaming labels/spit omega fables/Cradle graves in my arms and lay in level angles/Angels visit basonets/ whistle clarinets/Cuz I rush my last moments on murky clouds of death”), release the Unbutton mixtape with original material like “Nothing to Hide” (“Keepin the fury full adds dirt to my burial,/I'm grippin on a piece so my fam can see peace,/A rare experience under the heaven we beneath,/My expense is war until my temple's deceased”) only to peak higher last year with the amazing work on Wisemen’s superior sophomore album, Children of a Lesser God. To then release this EP isn’t about proving his skill but maybe getting more buzz as he lets go of some b-side tracks that demolish the a-sides of the majority.

Kevlaar, as he revealed blatantly on the Children LP, with “Thirsty Fish,” “Victorious Hoods,” “The Illness 2” and “Faith Doctrine,” is an rugged beatmaker incorporating booming basslines and now any drum from the wax to bangin conguero in his studio session. On Who Got The Camera there are two Kevlaar beats where “Boulevard Article” is that ruggedness that now seems easy for him. This really is an EP of the best beats that won’t be on his Die Ageless debut and an exercise in lyricism. Kevlaar is an MC that truly a writer penning an entire concentration of deepest thoughts and burgeoning swagger on the page. For this EP he goes thematic and focuses on deft socio-political rhymes that are guided by the countless deaths of our people by the pigs despite camera footage and other measures of obvious proof. The great crate to support the theme is his use of the Martin Luther King, Jr. quotes that go against the mere integrationist propaganda that his canonization has offered. Kevlaar is a lyricist and his gift for the abstract artful brilliance, is contained here to instead detail the streets and oppressive bullshit as candidly as possible without sacrificing lyrical density.

Who Got the Camera is a concentrated effort of just a handful of Kevlaar’s gifts and these builds on our plagued communities might be the most relevant to prelude the most anticipated debut album in years, Die Ageless.


Mohammad Dangerfield is one of the most obvious great albums to be released in a long time. Easily the livest duo since Method Man and Redman, they are the most logical marvel team up I have witnessed in years. Their synergy has been witnessed for years as they catapulted off their “I’m Broke and Proud” duet. Still, the unity provokes a highlight of versatility that the underground enthusiast may not have noticed of them and the pop rap downloader never even fuckin knew.

To unite the brilliance of swagger and fierce righteousness of boxing legend Mohammad Ali and the brilliance of effortlessly classic one-liners of comic great Rodney Dangerfield is to bring MCing to a renewed truth. A truth that the MC, the live orator of verse, is a real person with insight and humor barred up in inspiring builds and engaging cleverness. Before Mo Danger, you may have to know of them personally to know that Rugged N Raw is truly a sincere, articulate and virtuous brother for the cause. You may also need to know that Hasan is an engaging personality who can be the spark to the jam as much as the bloodline of the revolution. With Mohammad Dangerfield, the oddity of the implied imbalance is exactly the joke. There is no imbalance. There is only one of the livest and naturally insightful albums from this next generation of great MCs.

The success of Mohammad Dangerfield is their command of the live aesthetic and transmuting that on record. The fuckin album is a party of builds, punchlines, flows and skills displayed. Wiith Hasan, an MC that holds the weight of the world in his greatest verses from “When the Guns Come Out” to “Kingdom of Heaven,” has so many places to react with anthemic verses of triumph (“Valley of the Kings”) to the builds from all of oppressions’ lenses as on the dynamic “Generation Kill” (“It’s not that I hate their freedom it’s that I hate that i have a wife and three kids and can’t feed em/ united states looks like a garden of Eden but they army’s taking potshots at the door when we leavin...”). Yet Rugged N Raw, an MC that is a master of the comedic carelessness of our poverty and free swag living, he has an incredibly paced flow that puts every word strong on the disc. His insights drive understanding home with their sardonic emphasis whether on “Generation Kill” or the great detailer of failed circumstance as he rhymes on “Break of a Star.” The interchange between them melds and blends into explosions of truly live MCing as they put the stage on wax on “Rhyme Like No One” or the concentration of that fluid, rollicking slow flow of “Truly Yours,” the strong concept songs as the anti-abortion “Unredeemed” or the battle circus of “Wrek Center.” Unlike some premature reviews, the beats immediately recognized have the familiarity of b-boy staples (“Mo Danger,” “Wrek Center”) yet are a majority of well chosen beds that multiply with the instrument of verse upon them.

Unlike many of the quality of MCs today, Hasan and Rugged really thrive in the same cipher as the greats they are influenced by. They have all the tools from the stage to wax and have the realness that we sadly stopped expecting from MCs when the 2000’s came and concessions were disguised as necessary to the realness. Mohammad Dangerfield is an album of exciting MC martial art with the depth of topical insight and thematic realness of peoples’ revolution.