Rhymesayers is the new Def Jam.
This isn’t to say that Def Jam is obsolete, or that those cats from Minnesota are on some copy-cat shit! Rather, it’s to say that if you’re looking for good rap music in this day and age, you know you’re going to get some quality joints if it’s got that Rhymesayers brand on it.
Currently, Slug and crew are making the Minneapolis/ Washington connection. Earlier this year Rhymesayers released the national debut of Oldominion crew alumn’s Grayskul (Deadlivers). The heavily metaphoric, comic-book inspired album was just the beginning, however, as crew members Karim (aka Nightclubberlang), Destro Destructo, along with DJ Scene, hit you with that boom bap courtesy of the Boom Bap Project. Their album is called Reprogram; named thusly because they are out to rearrange your thoughts on what good, popular rap music is all about. Or, as they say “The Boom Bap Project stands for one thing…preservation of true hip hop music and culture.”
If you’re looking for R&B smoothness or Bling Bling rhetoric, this here ain’t for you.
However, if you’re looking for that stripped down, straight up rap shit, then you’ve come to the right place. Featuring guest spots from respected rap cats like Gift of Gab (“Wyle Out”), Rakaa Iriscience of Dilated Peoples (the old school feeling “Cut Down Ya Options”), and Lifesavas (the urgent “Ammunition”), Boom Bap shows you that they are serious about their brand of music. And they compliment the proceedings nicely with tight lyricism; a rarity in the brand-name, jewel incrusted, mainstream. Toss in a track with crew members Grayskul (“War of the Roses”) and the historic “Backbone of Hip Hop” featuring DJ Vinroc, and it becomes apparent why the guys are receiving such critical acclaim and touring incessantly.
But the multi-cultural trio doesn’t solely survive on the backs of their visitors. “Welcome To Seattle” picks up where Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Posse On Broadway” left off; doing for the Starbucks capital what Brother Ali did for the Land of 10,000 Lakes. While “1,2,3,4” harks back to that time when the drum track hit you first and the rhymes came blazing at you from hardcore emcees; think Run-DMC circa 1987. It’s no coincidence that this crew is also made up of two MC’s and one deejay.
“Followin Formulas” is a scathing critique of this once über creative genre. The hook: “We’re just warning ya/ following formulas / You’ll always stay a step behind your favorite star / We know who you are / You ain’t goin’ far,” with cuts and scratches that compliment the production effortlessly.
This production, provided by Jake One, Vitamin D, Bean One and Mr. Hill, was inspired by the classic sounds of hip hop, including the voices and music of Chuck D, KRS One and the aforementioned Run-DMC. The crew set out to create an album that would stand the test of time and simultaneously put the Northwest region on the map.
They have succeeded with a record that demands repeated listens with little filler and no desire to hit the skip button! Beats and breaks that bring to mind the best of Dilated coupled with rhymes as sincere as those offered by Blueprint.
Heavy Rotation meet Boom Bap Project.