For Those Who Can't Sleep On Hip Hop

neurologists.jpgTHE NEUROLOGISTS- STAFF OF RA (FEAT. LIL’ DAP) B/W THE PAGAN’S HELMET (FEAT. KILLAH PRIEST) EDIFIED GEMS

For those who don’t know, Neurologists have been releasing gems since the mid 90’s til the present, creating an ill and solid formula. Now this formula is being laid out for some of the illest emcees on the planet. On the first track “Staff of Ra”, Lil’ Dap of Group Home fame rips up this middle-eastern styled beat. You get your usual boom bap along with a slew of dope vocal samples. Lil’ Dap has a very discernable and sick rhyme style that many are familiar with. The Neurologists are on point in selecting this beat for Dap to feast on as it clocks in just a little over the 3 minute mark. “Staff of Ra” does enough damage to jump start your appetite.

As you just finish wiping the drool from your mouth, you’re hit again with another gem! Killah Priest decides to make an appearance on the track “Pagan’s Helmet”. As both beats are fast paced, this one is more refined and complex. This track was meant to incite riots. Killah is relentless as usual, throwing lyrical jabs with precision like Sugar Ray Leonard. Neurologists play the corner man in supplying Killah with all the weaponry needed.

Although this is just a maxi-single, it packs a powerful punch. Not only will you get amped over the lyrical content but, the beats are what solidifies this effort. There’s more in store in the very near future so be on the lookout. I know I will! Support the Neurologists by copping this joint @ http://www.myspace.com/neurologists or visit them also @ http://www.edifiedgems.com .

Thanks CyPhEr777

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Saturday May 19th 7pm

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southern comfort

Southern Comfort” – ANTHONY HAMILTON
(Merovingian Music)

Review by Todd E. Jones
toddejones@yahoo.com

Pain is the essence of Soul music’s beauty. Regardless of race, sex, or class, listeners can relate to the soul singer’s pain. The music of legends like Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, and Issac Hayes has crossed a myriad of conceptual boundaries because it possessed a magnificent universal emotional core. The next generation of soul music artists includes Cody ChesnuTT, D’Angelo, Erykah Badu, and Cee-Lo. Unfortunately, many singers get pigeonholed in the generically broad genre of R&B. While their music may be classified as R&B, these artists surpass the typical sound of the average R&B singer who just needs a pathetically weak slow drum beat that they can moan trite lyrics over. Anthony Hamilton is a soul singer who stands out from the rest. His music has the precious quality that instantly connects with the listener. Although he signed to the extremely commercial label, So So Def (owned by Jermaine Dupre), his music is not a pre-packaged gimmick. Like Cody ChesnuTT and Cee-Lo, Anthony Hamilton creates music that has the potential to be timeless. The songs are overflowing with his pain and love. His debut single, “Coming From Where I’m From” was a poignantly sexy, slow burning track that hypnotized the faithless. After multiple albums on the major label, Anthony Hamilton releases “Southern Comfort” on Merovingian Music. A collection of songs from the vaults, “Southern Comfort” features unreleased material that possesses the intensity of a true album.

Hamilton’s power lies in his genuine emotion conveyed within his voice, intertwined with his flowing hooks and vulnerable lyrics. The opening cut, “They Don’t Know” features a thick heroin 70′s groove. Imagine an old 70′s Blaxploitation movie as the opening credits appear over a ghetto setting. “They don’t know all the things that I be going through”, Hamilton sings with a commanding tone. Produced by Fanatic, “They Don’t Know” is a brilliant representation of the album’s sound and feeling. Hamilton’s vulnerability shines through the pain displayed on the marvelous “Glad U Called”. Produced by Ced Solo, “Glad U Called” is a heartrending track where Hamilton claims that a friend saved him from committing suicide, simply by calling at the right time. “…I’m glad that you called when you called me / Because it stopped me from doing something awful / I’ve been waiting, contemplating of taking this life away from me…” Lyrically, Hamilton paints a vivid picture of the moment. The listener can mentally picture him looking at his gun on the dashboard of his car. Lyrically, he writes about facing specific and general problems. He sings, “…I been working on this since ’93 / and it don’t feel good to me, because there’s war, famine, diseases. / I’m so sick, sick and tired of all that the world is offering…” His blatant honesty gives the track a refreshing beauty. Hamilton adds, “Never thought I’d have to kiss so much ass” Amidst the sorrow, positive sentiments arise in “Never Give Up”. Produced by Ced Solo, “Never Give Up” features an uplifting crescendo for the chorus, which will inspire every listener. “Magnolia’s Room” is a love song about a man struggling with a woman who is fed up with his lack of success. Some songs are not as prominent compared to intense tracks. “Please”, “Fallin In Love Again”, and “Better Love” sound more like typical love songs. “Sailin Away” is a warm closing track.

“Southern Comfort” by Anthony Hamilton is much more than only a collection of unreleased material. The album proves that his major label releases only represent the music approved by the money holders. These songs are too powerful to be shelved. Since “Southern Comfort” is an independent release, fans should consider the album an essential brick in the house of his discography. This love is similar to the listener appreciating an artist’s b-sides more than the LP tracks. His album is especially poignant because his vulnerability and honest approach to music makes a prevailing connection with his listeners. This connection reminds his listeners that they are not alone in their struggles. Hamilton’s emotional expression will comfort those listeners who can relate to his pain. This album may make you take the gun out of your mouth and realize that you should not blow your brains out. “Southern Comfort” by Anthony Hamilton could be that album that may save your life.

Review by Todd E. Jones

toddejones@yahoo.com

NOTICE: This review is property of Todd E. Jones and cannot be duplicated or posted without written permission.

WEBSITES:

Merovingian Music: http://www.merovingianmusic.com
Anthony Hamilton: http://www.anthonyhamilton.com

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GHOST OF A FALLEN AGE-RUMORS OF THE SECRET WAR TRAGIC HERO RECORDS

 

Lynchburg Virginia’s Ghost of a Fallen Age is a product of two incredible bands; Winter Solstice and Everything Falls Together. After the split of Winter Solstice, some of those pieces and the pieces of EFT decided to forge a more prominent force to be reckoned with and in 2006 Ghost of a Fallen Age was born. Thus, the result is their powerful 2007 debut called “Rumors of the Secret War”. Albums that have no flaws such as this one are obviously easy to review. This enigmatic LP should be the staple in which other metal bands follow. There’s more to this album than just pure aggression. Each member plays an intricle part in the Ghost “sound” by adding depth and different dimensions to each song.

Although the CD shows 10 tracks, it’s actually 6 tracks with the remaining tracks being 1 to 2 minute interludes.  The first 2 tracks, “The Cold Open” and “It’s The Apathy That Calls Them Here” are segues to the first full track in “Irrefutable Evidence for a Skeptic (3:15 am)”. As potent as GOAFA’s instrumental musicianship on this song is, the group’s efforts are brought up another notch significantly by the vocal contributions of Matthew McMillan. His growls and high pitches shrieks are powerful. The lyrics easily match the supremacy of McMillan’s voice:

“This nightmare runs into reality, an affliction of hollow eyes, burnt into my mind, those whispered lies, burnt my mind. Manifestations of death and horror, illusions of grandeur, a hope to survive or the merits of suicide, a snake in the grass lying in wait.”

Next comes another stunning musical whirlwind in the track “The New 2007 Model Human” which could be a topic attributed to societies ills or, the ills in the music industry as well. I took it as the latter but you be the judge:

“I can see the human assembly lines, millions of heads are waiting for their bodies, and as they wait the manuscripts that make a man: are being pushed through their ears with frail mechanical fingers. The heads are filled to the maximum capacity with regurgitated rhetoric. The heads are fastened to their bodies. They’re now ready for the job market; they’re ready for the meat market. Whore yourself.”

Unfortunately, the music industry is a breeding ground for commercialized puppets (especially in the Hip Hop and Metal scene) where pure musicianship is substituted by clowns pushing their gimmicks. Ghost of a Fallen Age plan to end that!

As the brutality continues on tracks “Macabre Vow” and “The Cancer That Devours My Dreams”, we get to my favorite track “A Poorly Tailored Man-Suit”. This song will hit you like a nuclear bomb! The drummer Jonathan McMillan (brother of the vocalist), showcases some killer chops and the diverse musical arrangements of the guitar/bass tandem of Caleb Goins, Darren Via and Donnie Graham are infectious to say the least. This song sent chills down my spine!

Musically, “A Critical Proposal” fittingly ends this EP before giving way to the outro “The Face of Neglect”. “Rumors of the Secret War” is captivating and what this genre sorely needed. All the elements that make up a solid album are present in this EP. I definitely can’t wait to hear what this unit has in store for the future. Metal looks bright again!!! Support Ghost of a Fallen Age by visiting them @ http://www.ghostofafallenage.com/main.html or http://www.myspace.com/ghostofafallenage  Thanks CyPhEr777

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DANTE EVERGLADE-BLOWN TWEETERS EVOLVE MUSIC

 

Dante Everglade a.k.a. Negro Scoe hits us hard with a dope EP entitled “Blown Tweeters”. Dante has been on the scene since around 95, releasing independent joints here and there and released a fantastic EP called “Vegas Escapades” in 2004. Although a product of Kansas City, he has West Coast Connections also being a part of a dope Cali crew named the “Hip Hop Addicts”. So, Negro has paid his dues and is about to set this world ablaze with this newest effort.

 

Although only being 9 tracks long (including a hidden track), you still get an entertaining offering. The “Intro” sets the rest of the EP up by, detailing the difference between Hip-Hop and Rap. Even to this day, many are still confused about the difference of the two. The “Intro” pretty much sets the record straight on that subject matter. The title track “Blown Tweeters” hits us off with eerie echoes and an abstract drum pattern set to induce major head nodding. On this track Dante switches with an on-beat/off-beat flow that fits perfectly with the dark background he was given. He comes thru with tight lines like:

 “It’s Dante Everglade! The beat provokes my script.

  Eternally connected, verbally effected

  Verses selected, service makes others nervous.”

This track quickly will become one of your favorites!

 

Normally I skip over interludes but, the “Noise Complaint” skit is hard to pass up. This hilarious interlude has a Napoleon Dynamite type character (an officer) who’s responding to a noise pollution complaint. Even though it’s meant as comedy relief, it touches on the stereo types Hip Hop constantly faces. Next is the smooth vibed “Innovate Don’t Hate”. Dante slows down his flow to again match the tempo of the beat laid before him. This track show off his lyrical dexterity as well as the diversity of it’s beat makers in duo Acumen and Dusty Rhythms. Things get a little controversial in “Blind Obedience” where Negro touches on the recent mishaps of the Commander In Chief (Bush). Here he employs us to see thru the lies of our government and the media. You will also hear sound clips of Bush throughout the track.

 

Great things continue on the second half as they did on the first with, innovative topics. A relationship issue is the topic on “My Butterfly”. Again, Dante’s even keeled flow is what draws you in and keeps you interested. The beat while simple, is nice and bubbly and creates a beautiful environment for the emcee to spit to. “Verse Servin” is where Scoe plays with different braggadocio type flows and styles. It’s a fun track that’ll get multiple replays. Then we end all this greatness with “Sidewalk… Timmy”. This instrumental along with the hidden track that follows, showcase more of the skills that Acumen and Dusty bring to this EP. Blown Tweeters is a solid effort meaning, not one song is weak on here. The production is a perfect fit to what Dante Everglade wants to accomplish. The name Dante Everglade or Negro Scoe will speak for itself once his skills are acknowledged. What else can I say? Go and cop it! Please support by peeping these sites: www.danteeverglade.com/ or www.myspace.com/negroscoe Thanks CyPhEr777

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