Sunday, March 6, 2011
KEVLAAR 7 - WHO GOT THE CAMERA? EP Review
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.