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Deep Thinkers – Necks Move

Deep Thinkers are an outfit out of Kansas City, MO; ya know, the home of the notorious Tech Ni9e? However, contrary to the popularity of the infamous Blood-gone-good’s grimy gangsta/ hatchet man music, the guys from Thinkers bring a decidedly more Bay area by way of New York boom bap sound and lyricism to their project. In fact, as they say: fuck the trendy fashion shit, bling bling, magazine BS; let’s just get back to the music.


A cursory listen to the record Necks Move might have you thinking there is nothing new here—saying: I’ve heard it all before. However, a repeated listen reveals a deeper truth. And, the further you go into the record, the further you are drawn into Thinker’s realm of understanding; engulfed in a brand of hip-hop that is about more than fast cars, loose women and surface topics. These guys are about something that Chuck D was quoted as saying over a decade ago. Or, as a memorable lyric from left coast pioneers The Pharcyde states, “They say something that means something.” That could be why Deep Thinkers were nominated as The Best Local Hip Act of 2004 on Pitch weekly ( It could also be why they were picked as one of the best acts of 2003 on and the Kansas City Star. One track from the album, “War Of Words”, a dark newscast of a song with an Eastern music flourish, is featured on the compilation Eastern Conference All Stars, volume IV.

Not new to the game, Thinkers have shared the stage with Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, Encore, The Arsonists and Mac Lethal. Made up of Aaron Sutton, better known as Brother of Moses, and Kyle Dykes, the turntable technician known as Leonard D. Story, the group prefers to challenge thought and existence, exploring topics of “poverty, empowerment, domestic abuse, and non-party-related politics” because they were fed up with the stale, repetitious hip hop they were being force fed by radio. They also champion the lost—and currently revived—art of the DJ with inclusions like “Search and Dstroy” and “The Technicolor B Boy Slideshow, pt. 1”, that highlight the man behind the Technics, in much the same way old school rap records used to.

Other album highlights include “We Live In Kansas City and…” This Bluesy, Jazz sampled opus is a comedic ode to those who might think they know what life is all about in the land KC; and, “Stand Strong”, a Jazzy piano-driven ditty with taut snares and lilting bass lines that implores its listeners to keep on striving, even though the struggle of life seems hard sometimes.

All in all this is an impressive debut by a group that otherwise fly under the radar. If you are a fan of Little Brother, Common, or vintage Tribe Called Quest, you want to have this record. If you listen to anything out of the Bay area that is not considered Ganga Rap (or is on the Quannum label), then you should get this record. If you’re just tired of all the mass-produced sound-a-likes, or you’re just a tad bit intrigued by what might be coming out of the middle of the country and not connected to Nelly, then check out this record. You might just find that politics, hip hop, social (dis) harmony and life aren’t that far removed.


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