For Those Who Can't Sleep On Hip Hop

Modulok of Red Ants solo debut

September 8, 2009

by CyPhEr777 (C73)

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Canadian native Modulok of the group Red Ants has put out some amazing projects in the last few years so, it’s fitting that “Cities & Years” is the most compelling album I’ve come across this year. It’s not unusual for underground international hip-hop to be of better class than domestic or mainstream music, and this is no exception. Mod is an artist who is just constantly evolving and this album is a testament to that evolution.

It starts with a great track called “Cool and Deadly” which is an ode to Mod’s infectious steez. His lyrics are as sharp as ever, his music has matured and if you’ve listened to all of his previous work you can tell. On most tracks, Modulok rips topics wide open and provides a depth in lyrics very rarely found in any hip-hop. Mod seems to make his lyrics seamless, with a constant rhythm and no end of his own metaphors. Straight from the first track, it’s plain to see his style differs from others, bringing on full flow skill with smooth, melodically back beats provided by Leon Murphy. Lyrics throughout the album are excellent and have obviously been written with deep thought…example from the track “Keep It Moving”:

“When it rains it pours
I’ve learned that before
So many times, my misery is nostalgic
In fact, sometimes I welcome it with a smile like
‘Hello, old friend. I ain’t seen you in a while’
Raise my glass and just bask in my fate
And the harsh warm feeling sinking in my chest plate
Isn’t life great
I give thanks everyday
‘Cause the bad days
Beautiful in their own way”

Modulok is definitely not subtle or understated. The man raps compelling stories over mostly solid beats and that is all that most people can ask for. In fact, there is not a single track on “C.A.Y.” that absolutely needs to be removed and many that will blow you away. He has many gleaming moments that show extreme potential as he continues to tread his long journey in the rap game. It’s highly bumpable, simultaneously gritty and smooth, put together precisely and professionally. Leon Murphy certainly knows what he’s doing behind the boards. “Cities & Years” is a perpetuating album for him, in the fact that it gives him a chance to show his true ability on the mic and vast potential in raw form. My favorite track is “A Certain Time of the Day”. I love the aesthetic of the beat and how the lyrics match the vibe perfectly. Music like this is often overlooked but, this seminal LP is a must own for any true hip-hop lover. Other notable tracks include “All the Girls”, “Timewalker” and “Keep Moving”. “Only 8 tracks!” is what you’ll say after your first rotation but remember, there’s always a repeat button. Please support Modulok and Leon Murphy by checking out: http://www.myspace.com/modulokrap

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