Archive for September, 2008

Kia Ora – Kora

Monday, September 29th, 2008 | Reviews | No Comments
Kia Ora - Kora

Last Thursday night in Melbourne, we were lucky enough to finally see one of New Zealands leading bands, Kora, perform at Hi-Fi Bar. With a reputation as a must see live act spreading thoughout Australia, New Zealand, and more recently Europe, and having listened to the music they have been releasing over the last 6 years, we were intrigued as to how they would live up to the expectations we had.

It’s worth noting the callibre of artists coming out of New Zealand, especially in their live performances, when considering their reputation as one of New Zealand’s best. The bar has been set in more recent times by such a strong aray of NZ’ers such as Fat Freddy’s Drop, Katchafire, The Black Seeds, Olmecha Supreme, Che Fu, and countless other musicians. Set to this backdrop this comparison was always going to be difficult to deliver on… but deliver they did.

From the cheeky, playful performance they brought to Hi-fi Bar, it was no surprise to learn that some of Kora’s members have studied performing arts, with as little as the raise of an eyebrow causing the audience to erupt into screams all evening. These four brothers (literally) and “one token white guy”, as they described themselves, kept the mojo flowing all night, even into the second encore the audience demanded.

Kora live in Whakatane

Even in Australia’s music capital, Melbourne, it’s unusual to attract sell out shows on a Thursday night, but this prominent live venue in the heart of the city was stretched to it’s 900 capacity, including the 16th step where we were chilling out with our champagne (apologies to the guy we spilled a little bit on… twice… sorry bro).

Our group, which at the beginning of the evening was filled out with Kiwi’s, Aussie’s, Americans, Dutch, and English, among others, united at the close of the evening to sing the crowds obviously favourite track “Politician”, only re-enforcing the universal appeal which has recently seen them receive offers from Europe and further abroad.  We all left the concert with a new must see group, hoping that the recent success won’t take away our opportunities to see them locally on Thursday nights if their fan base continues to grow at the rate it has been.


Kete Aronui – an insight into Kora

They talked the talk,

They walked the walk,

and they brought us comfort…

You can check out more of Kora at:

www.kora.co.nz

www.myspace.com/koraroots

…bs & Miss Peti

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Almost Forty Years Too Late?

Friday, September 26th, 2008 | News | 2 Comments
Almost Forty Years Too Late?

I’ll start this piece with a broad and inflammatory statement; there is no justice in the world, especially the world of music, but maybe there is karma? The evidence for this opinion is an artist, who’s 1970 album has only recently received the worldwide praise it deserves. Regular and observant readers will have noticed this site’s content can be quite eclectic with content that can focus on about both up-and-coming and established groups. We occasionally look back at classic albums from years gone by, but today we will go back a little further.

The story of Detroit born musician Sixto D. Rodriguez goes like this: in 1970 he recorded the sublime album “Cold Fact” which he followed up the next year with “Coming From Reality”, Both records were released on a recording label that folded in 1975. After the limited success of both albums in the American market, he gave up on his musical career and drifted into relative obscurity. This caused many rumours about his possible demise ranging from suicide (on stage), to drug addiction, and even that he was in prison for killing his wife. All of this was of course untrue, he had just given up on achieving musical success and dropped out of the game. What he didn’t know was he had gained a cult following in countries like South Africa and Australia, where his imported albums had sold well. He ended up touring around Australia in 1979 and 1981 and releasing live recording of these shows. It wasn’t until the late 1990’s, while he was working as a labourer in Detroit, that his daughter discovered through the internet, that his fan base in South Africa was trying to track him down via an online campaign, “The Great Rodriguez Hunt”. A decade later, the 66-year-old singer/songwriter is still alive, well and touring. Lately his original masterpiece “Cold Fact” has been released again to speak to a whole new generation. He is now gaining attention from all over the world, by people amazed that a talent like this could remain unknown for so long. Some have argued that he is the equal of his contemporaries such as Bob Dylan, John Lennon and Neil Young; musicians whose well-crafted songs and political lyrics turned them into household names, cemented their fame and left an impact on the popular consciousness. Recognition doesn’t always come when it should.

Since hearing about “Cold Fact” only recently, I have put it on high rotate, as it not only sounds musically great almost forty years on, but the lyrics seem just as relevant as ever. For example from the tune titled “This Is Not A Song, It’s an Outburst: Or, The Establishment Blues” :

“The mayor hides the crime rate
council woman hesitates
Public gets irate but forget the vote date
Weatherman complaining, predicted sun, it’s raining
Everyone’s protesting, boyfriend keeps suggesting
you’re not like all of the rest

Adultery plays the kitchen, bigot cops non-fiction
The little man gets shafted, sons and monies drafted
Living by a time piece, new war in the Far East
Can you pass the Rorschach test?

It’s a hassle it’s an educated guess.
Well, frankly I couldn’t care less.”

Although Rodriguez is described as a folk musician I wouldn’t really call this a folk album. For example, the song “Only Good For Conversation” starts with a riff that could have been from a Deep Purple song. It is more like gentle rock music, with acoustic guitars surrounded by psychedelic and orchestral overdubs, but every song is different and has it’s own story. The song “Sugarman” which seems to have become his signature tune, is about the realities of inner city drug-dealing, and has the lyrics:

“Silver magic ships you carry
Jumpers, coke, sweet Mary Jane

Sugar man you’re the answer
That makes my questions disappear”

It’s almost criminal it’s taken so long for this album get the attention it deserves. Although you’d expect it to be dated by it’s age, it is still as fresh and crisp as anything I’ve heard recently. The reason I see it’s lyrical content as so relevant, is that the time when it was originally released, was a time that promised so much in terms of societal change. There was obviously great turmoil and uncertainty, with the backdrop of the Cold/Vietnam War and the notion of a social revolution promising so much, but which in hindsight delivered so little. We’ve probably heard about the apparent social change aiming to break the bonds of conformity, the general growth of anti-establishment feelings amoung youner people, that caused a generational riff but never quite put the peace and love into society, that was expected. I see our current stage of history to be very much like this, funny how everything repeats. In an age where we are looking for solutions to contemporary crisis’s and we are searching for another way of finding “change and hope”. In this way, all the issues raised in the album “Cold Fact” are still as relevant and topical. So if you’re interested in conscious lyrics that are not afraid to take a political stance, then definitely give this album a try. It has a point-of-view, but at the same time doesn’t try to club you over the head with it. So all this proves to me that protest singers aren’t dead, they’re just sleeping.

Find out more about the ‘Cold Fact’ re-release at the following places:

Official Reissue 2008

Cold Fact Daily Music Guide Review

“But thanks for your time
Then you can thank me for mine
And after that’s said
Forget it”
(Forget It – Rodriguez)

…Yossarian

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YaHeard? Paris Wells interview

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008 | Interviews, Reviews | No Comments
YaHeard? Paris Wells interview

If you haven’t heard the name Paris Wells yet, then prepare to be blown away. Having just released her brilliant debut album, Keep it, as well as already building a strong following for her powerful live shows, this hugely talented Melbourne local is getting ready to take the world by storm. The album is a fantastic array of infectious pop anthems laced with everything from jazz, funk, disco and soul, highlighting her sublime versatility. We here at Very Good were lucky enough to have Paris lend us some of her time to answer a few questions, check it out.

Hi Paris, thanks for taking the time to do this for us. First things first, tell us a little about your background; who is Paris Wells and what influences her?
Well I’m actually half mermaid and half human. My childhood was in Maroubra NSW and my teens in Melbourne Bayside. Aside from my continuing emotional journey with relationships both romantic and platonic, my influences are 60 folk, 70’s disco, 90’s hip hop and great rock bands like Razorlight, Zombies etc.

The new album is sensational, how has the response been so far?
Why thankyou! Critically I am greatful for the reviews, Dan from Rolling Stone gave it a real honest review an I agreed with everything he said. Fans have picked up on it on all different levels which is great. To have girls approach me with what each song meant to them and how it helps them is an amazingly rewarding feeling! The whole response gives me so much encouragement to back this record up with an even better second album!!!

The album is really dynamic mix of genre’s; from the disco-inspired “Firetruck Man” to the soulful and jazzy “Tender”, is there any style that you particularly prefer? Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Sonically we were aiming for a modern/vintage fusion of sounds. Ryan and I choose my musicians carefully along with microphones and synths etc. We both have a strong relationship with beat culture and I wanted to keep that consistent in the songs. Lyrically it speaks for itself and for myself, my heart is on that album for the world to see.

The versatility on Keep it indicates that you would be likely to gel with a wide range of artists across a handful of different genres; are there any artists or groups in particular that you would like to work with?
Dream Collaborations 101:

Damon Albarn
Jamie Lidell
Cassius
Mike Patton
Goyte

Recently your live shows have gained quite a reputation, what do fans get when you’re on stage?

All of me with clothes on but sometimes no shoes. And a huge sound!

Any plans for more shows soon? Coming into summertime, you’d be looking at a festival or two perhaps?

Shhhhhh you will have to wait my friend…..

Your sound has been compared to the likes of Amy Winehouse, Sharon Jones and Alice Russell, how does this sit with you? Are these artists that you respect musically?

They are three of the most amazingly gifted vocalists in contemporary popular music, just to buy them a coffee would make my day let alone be compared to the likes of them. Amazing!

RHyNo of True Live has obviously been a factor in your success, what does he bring to your sound? Does he produce the whole album?

Yes Ryan and I are a team. My sound that the public now know is a hybrid of our tastes combined. I think he expressed himself in KEEP IT just as much as I did, he is super proud.

How was the experience of supporting Justin Timberlake on his Australian and New Zealand tour? Did he teach you how to bring sexy back?

No we were already dead sexy excuse me….Justin is the greatest, there is no stopping him.

Any final thoughts?

Fat kids are really hard to kidnapp and crabs shouldn’t be tied up in restaurants, tasty but they should at least get to swim before hand.

Thanks for your time Paris

“I’d step out of the rush for you”- Fat Freddy!
Peace. x

Paris Wells – Dat Du Dat
Keep it is out now, support local talent and pick it up from your local music store. And keep an eye out for Paris live somewhere near you over summer, we’ll do our best to keep you informed, you do not want to miss out.

You can check out more of Paris Wells at:

www.myspace.com/pariswells

…cracked

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Moving On with O.G

Saturday, September 20th, 2008 | Interviews | 6 Comments
Moving On with O.G

Here is the transcript of an interview recorded recently with New Zealand based musician, producer and composer Oakley O.G Grenell, enjoy!

I’ll just start by touching upon your family influences; some could go as far to call it a musical dynasty. With the achievements of your father (John) and the involvement of your siblings (Denver, Redford and Amiria) in other assorted projects, how has this developed your musical tastes and helped shape your career?

I guess having a musical father meant being exposed to all different kinds of music when we were young and growing up. My mum used to organise the festivals on Whitecliffs farm and that ran for about 15 years. So every summer we’d be surrounded by different types of musicians with all different instruments and our ears were open to the world of folk music, country music, blues, rock, reggae. All that kind of good stuff which then influenced us into picking up instruments. My brother Redford picked up the drums and I picked up the guitar, and we told our older brother to play some bass so we could create a trio. I guess my older brother’s album or CD collection influenced what we listened to after that. We also used to have lots overseas hostellers come work on the farm and get free board and stuff. So they’d also bring their music into the house and we’d listen to a whole bunch of stuff from overseas, it was quite an eclectic taste. The way it’s helped our career, I guess, is that over the last 6 albums I’ve released, everything has been slightly different, kind of picking up on different parts of the world of music and trying to put my spin on it, being a kiwi kid. The new album is all hip-hop, so I should really speak about that. It’s all the kind of hip-hop I like listening to really; the early hip-hop we listened to was Ice-T ‘Cop killer’ and stuff like that. You know, things like 2 Live Crew, Double J and Twice the T was the kiwi one. We used to do covers of Digable Planets when I was in third form, ‘Cool Like Dat’ and then the whole metal/hip-hop/rap thing came in, which was like Rage Against the Machine and the like. The soundtrack to “Judgement Night” which had a whole lot of collaborations between rock and hip-hop.

What were some of the musical influences that inspired you when were growing up?

Hendrix was a big inspiration. Just off the top my head I’m just going to throw names out there: Tuck Andress who’s the guitarist from the duo Tuck and Patti, Ben Harper was a huge influence when I was learning how to write songs. His second album “Fight for your Mind”, I think is one of the best out there. A guitarist called Bireli Lagrene who is from France. Producers who influenced me would definitely have to be The Herbaliser who played on the farm when we were very young, I was about 16. Jazzy Jeff I think is an amazing producer. I’ll just go to my Myspace and check what it says there, I’m pretty sure I’ve got heaps of them there. Ok so we’ve got J Dilla (AKA Jay Dee) who does the whole jazz mixed with hip hop, shuffle kind of thing. Questlove from the roots, D’Angelo, Salaam Remi, Jill Scott, Adam F, Elephannt Man, Beenie Man, The Neptunes, Dr Dre, Roots Manuva, Busta Rhymes, Mos Def, Madlib, Damian Marley, Method Man, Common, Mark Ronson, The Nextmen, Will.i.am, Sergio Mendes, The Cinematic Orchestra. Kiwi acts like Shapeshifter, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Open Souls. Overseas MCs, some people that I’ve worked with, Dynamite MC, The Eskimo Squad crew. I guess growing up in Christchurch we were open to the fact of hearing Christchurch reggae bands as well, like EST who are Excellent Soul Therapy influenced me a lot, also Bob Marley and all that kind of stuff.


Involved in many different projects yourself, including Departure Lounge, Eskimo Squad and of course your solo work. Do you find it easy to switch between musical styles?

After high school I studied jazz guitar for three years and in the second year (or possibly the first year), I started gigging and doing gigs and I really wanted to mix what I had learnt from the jazz genre (which really doesn’t sell any albums these days), and create something new with it. Taking the improvisational elements of jazz and throwing that into trying to make new styles, and creating. Drum n Bass was quite early back then, so we were doing it live in a band I had back then called Jam Fa. I remember talking to Johnny Hooves, (who is now a Drum n Bass producer, back then he was our drummer), listening to early Roni Size and hearing Dynamite MC. One of our early conversations in probably ‘98 or ‘99, was “wouldn’t it be cool to hear Dynamite MC on a hip hop track?” I actually got a chance to do that in the new tune, on the new album which he’s on; it’s called “A Day in the Life”. But we also did one on the first O.G album called ‘Bahm Bahm’.

You also have your own recording label “Central Records”, we’re you always interested in that side of the business? Or was it a means to end, to help you accomplish your roles as musician and producer?

For jazz school (which was end of 2000 or maybe ‘99) I won a scholarship for best performer that year and got $500, so went out and bought a keyboard because I’d been listening to The Nomad’s ‘Second Selection’ and ‘Mezzanine’ by Massive Attack, and I really wanted to start mixing and actually try producing. Up until that point I was a guitarist and I was in a reggae band called Bunyip. We just did live gigs all the time and I hadn’t really done any studio stuff, so I went and bought a computer, got ‘Pro Tools’ and stuff. Created a little six-track E.P and then I thought: “How am I going to release it? What do you need to release it?” You need a record label and you need a distributor. So I made up a label called Central Records cause all my friends we called Goob central, so I just nicked that name, and called it Central Records. Pretty much wherever my laptop goes with me and my microphone, then that’s where “Central Records” is based.

It is hard to do the business side as well as the musical side, half the year is spent creating the album (and that’s a mission) mixing it down, getting it all perfect, the artwork, putting it all together, manufacturing it, and that’s only half the job! The other half is getting it into stores, promote it, sell it, organise the tours, do the gigs, try and make music videos, of which we have made 6 (I think) and they’re all on Youtube (just search my name). That’s not the greatest part of the music business, to be honest the best part is when you’ve created a track in your room (or with some other musicians) and you know it’s going to kill in the clubs or in a live band setting, and then of course playing that live and seeing people just go crazy! Which happened last weekend, at the Black Seeds gig, with the Live O.G Band, we killed it.

What were the influencing factors in your travelling to the UK to make music?

I grew up on a farm for the first 17 years of my life and then moved to Christchurch. I needed 5 years to explore it and become top of my game as a guitarist in this town. Then I did my O.E (Overseas Experience), as three of my friends were heading over to Europe, so I decided to do that trip. I had actually been a teacher of music in high schools for two years, then took seven weeks off. We bought a van and travelled through Greece and Italy, then it got too hot. It was the summer of 2003, and there were insane heatwaves. I didn’t have a guitar so I flew to London and started teaching and got my guitar, so that was the reason to go to the UK. A bit of O.E and wanting to collaborate with MCs over there, which I did. I secured the Dynamite tune, started some tunes with The Eskimo Squad guys and then continued to teach, gig, DJ, gig, do some guitar gigs, and produce heaps and heaps of music. I pretty much spent all my money on going out to gigs and I did that for four years. I’d spend six months in the UK for the summer, then I’d come back to NZ for six months and continually do that for four years.

Your second full length solo album ‘Moving On’ that was released in New Zealand earlier this year, is now coming over to Australia. How would you describe the album?OG Moving On

I’d describe it as the hip hop that I like. Coming from NZ, hip hop was something I was into, but it wasn’t a huge thing that I was into when I started producing the first O.G album back in 2001. But when I moved to the UK they had specialist radio shows and whole stations dedicated to dance hall and hip hop. That’s when I really feel in love with the styles and wanted to understand, so being a producer I wanted try every single style. So this is my young hip hop stage, and I’m in love with the beat! Just collaborating with MCs and vocalists is a great thing to do. The album itself sounds very jazz influenced, very kind of Dilla-based. I can listen to beats on there, and it can sound like a compilation of a whole bunch of different producers and MCs, but I’m a bit schizophrenic like that when it comes to making music. I get influenced so easily and that comes out in the music with all these different styles on one album. Some of them are harder tracks like ‘Babylon Creeps’ (feat. KP & Switch) where it’s a bit more of a gangsta beat, but all the MCs are speaking the truth. Then there’s softer ones,  jazzier ones like ‘That’s The Thing’ (feat. LA Mitchell), ‘Moving on’ (feat. Mark Vanilau), and Mara TK’s tune (’Where I’m At’). So I’d call it a very eclectic hip hop album.

All the reviews I have read are positive and praise your ability and versatility, are you personally happy with the album and how it has turned out?

Yes, I am personally happy with the album, it’s the best music I have ever created, and I’d be so much more happy if was more well received,  because I haven’t had amazing record sales. I don’t think anyone is having amazing record sales these days, but I would love more people to hear it. That’s what getting out on the road and trying to promote it is all about. So we’ll be coming over to Australia to do that very soon!

Anything you see coming on the horizon that people may not currently know about but will soon – as far as trends or up and coming acts?

O.G with Dynamite MC in BrisbaneUpcoming acts: you’re going to hear a group from Wellington called Electric Wire Hustle, you’re going to hear a lot of my band (The O.G Band), you’re going to hear The Departure Lounge, which is my other band and the next album I will be doing, coming out late ‘09. Production-wise there’s a guy in Auckland doing a whole lot of dub-step called Optimus Grime.

What plans do you have for the future musically or otherwise, as in projects you will focus on?

I really want to focus on The Live O.G Band; we played some gigs in the weekend with Black seeds. I had my live eight piece band – that was awesome! Future projects I’ve got are organising a tour for the live band and do the summer gigs, we’ve Parihaka sorted out. I run a festival called “I-nation” which will be happening again on March 21st 2009. Musical projects we’ve got include the next The Departure Lounge album, which will be the first that is studio recorded, featuring Mark Vanilau on vocals. The year after that I will be releasing the next O.G album which will be 2010, and I don’t know whether that will be hip hop, drum n bass or dub-step yet, maybe switch it up a little bit? I’ve got heaps of unreleased tunes, but have to sub-categorise them. So basically an album a year, and get influenced musically. I’d love to do more travelling, experience music from different parts of the world and collaborate with musicians. I’d like to spend more time in Australia over the next couple of years and spread the music around there. Just going to carry on doing what we are doing!

-Title Track from the new album “Moving On”-

Known upcoming Tour dates for NZ and Australia:

02/10/08 Good Luck Wellington
03/10/08 Palmerston North
04/10/08 Phat Club Nelson
10/10/08 Double Happy Chch
09/11/08 Southern Amp
27/11/08 Beach Rd Sydney
29/11/08 Earthcore Festival Victoria
05/12/08 Prince of Wales Melbourne
02/01/09 Mussel Inn
10/01/09 Parihaka
21/03/09 I-Nation Festival Whitecliffs
-
You can check out more of O.G at:
www.myspace.com/centralrecords
-
“Sunsets will guide our path its clear our future bounds no end
Bridges have burned, they have burned oh cleansing fire
So I will live, reality dawns its all over now
Im moving on and I aint got no time to waste.”
(Moving On – O.G)

Interview, etc… by Yossarian

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YaHeard? Binary Star

Thursday, September 18th, 2008 | Reviews | 3 Comments
YaHeard? Binary Star

Back in the early years of high school I wasn’t much of a hip hop fan, bar the Snoop Dogg and Ice T cassettes i had dubbed off my friends older brothers. But after being introduced to the likes of Jurassic 5, Dilated Peoples and Gangstarr, my interest grew. Enjoying the underground side of things, I sought more artists like these and managed to stumble across something that well and truly tipped the scales for me, one of the dopest underground albums of all time; ‘Masters of the Universe’, released in 2000 by Binary Star. Jam packed with clever metaphors, punchlines and rhymes that need to be studied, this album is a shining representation of what underground hip hop is. Uh.. hang on, what underground hip hop used to be, I should say; they don’t make ‘em like this anymore.

After meeting in prison, MC’s Senim Silla and OneManArmy (a.k.a OneBeLo) recorded and independently released their debut album, Waterworld. Only about 1000 copies were pressed and distributed in 1999, and in the following year it was remixed, remastered, and re-released, as ‘Masters of the Universe’. Despite only selling 20,000 copies, the album received wide acclaim and would be high on the list of any respectable underground hip hop fan. Unfortunately the two split after this was released, citing creative differences, and have never reformed. However, both artists have released solo material in recent years (Senim Silla – The Name, The Motto, The Outcome, OneBeLo – S.O.N.O.G.R.A.M) and feature on each others albums.

Although the strength of this album lies in its MC’s, the beat on the first track, “Reality Check”, is mesmerising. Strings blast out of the speakers followed by a piano loop that builds with an ominous presence, before it fades and lets the beat rock just long enough for them to flip it, laying down lush piano and harps with OneManArmy unleashing his first verse. And this verse is a great reflection of what the rest of the album offers; OneManArmy dropping countless witty punchlines and rhymes that will have you nodding your head (”Rodney King ain’t ever felt a beat like this”, “I’m bad to the bone but X-ray’s can’t even see this”). “Conquistadors” is up next with its simple but effective bassline and cracking snare. The duo exchange metaphors and battle raps enthusiastically, Senim Sillia setting the tone from the first lines with “Feel the rhapsody, fill this joint to capacity, Senim grab mics with pitbull tenacity”. He keeps the ball rollin with the first of his solo tracks on the album, “Slang Blade”, where he rips it for two and half minutes straight without a hook over one of the best beats on the album

The two MC’s have fun on “Binary Shuffle”, bouncing along over a pretty simple bouncing beat with them chanting;

“Do you want to hear about the money we got? (oh no!)
Talk about the people we shot? (oh no!)
Bragg on the clothes we wear? (oh no!)
Do you think what we saying’ is fair? (oh yea!)
Do my crew rock the mic for days? (oh yea!)
Do my crew keep it live on stage? (oh yea!)
Do Binary Star got the flow? (oh yea!)
Don’t these wack emcees got to go? (oh yea!)”

A track that starts off like that is always going to appeal to me, and its especially refreshing listening to it in this current hip hop environment. “Fellowship” sees Athletic Mic League and Decompoze “rock heads like Mt Rushmore” with the dynamic duo, in another head nodding beat with a funky bassline. Decompoze and Senim Silla shine on this track, both ripping their verses to shreds. The title track, “Masters of the Universe”, sees the duo rapping together as “The Two-Headed Dragon”, weaving in and out of each others rhymes at a quick pace. Yet another track that is full of memorable lyrics, you’ll need to listen to it several times before get it all.

One of my personal favourites is “Indy 500″, which only actually features Decompoze. This track is a salute to the underground, where Decompoze rhymes about making it big but staying independent and true to why you’re making your music.

“All we need is beats and rhymes to go and spark it,
As long as we got the underground yo, we got a market,
I don’t need a major to tell me how to run it,
cause my goal’s to win the Indy 500″

The track starts off with a sample from a movie that really sets the tone, before Decompoze enters, just speaking about the industry at first, until a gritty beat drops over a superbly mellow piano loop. Easily one of the best tracks of the album.

“Honest Expression” has Silla and OneManArmy deliver a dope commentary on keeping it real as an underground hip hop artist and staying true to the artform instead of telling lies just to sell records. The track starts with a fantasticly appropriate martial arts movie sample about “Honestly expressing yourself”, before the two MC’s come in together and lay down some of the most refreshing rhymes of the album:

Senim Silla:

“Dig – I’ma put it on the table,
I ain’t a thug nigga and playa, I ain’t playful,
I’m just Senim Silla, a man without label,
Standin’ on my own two just tryin’ to stay stable,
Speakin’ what I know to only what I’m able”

OneManArmy:

“I ain’t hardcore, I don’t pack a 9 millimeter,
Most of y’all gangster rappers ain’t hardcore neither,
Whoever get mad then I’m talkin ’bout you,
Claim you fear no man but never walk without crew”

I love hearing tracks like this, hip hop artists making hip hop for the right reasons. And doing so with a precision and skill that sees them easily capable of mocking those who are abusing the art form for its payout.

I’ve listened to many dope hip hop albums over the years, but I consistently struggle to find music that can match up to this. I could write all day about each and every song, as they are all pretty damn good, and all feature the trademark metaphor-heavy rhyme-style that will have you rewinding to catch lyrics often. Even after eight years in my possession, it still rates high on my playlists. OneManArmy and Senim Silla have an amazing chemistry, and through their creative wordplay and raw honesty they have created a true underground hip hop classic.

Anyway, times up.

Do hip hop a favour, don’t sleep on this if you haven’t heard it.

You can catch Binary Star at:

www.myspace.com/4003715

or at OneManArmy’s record label

www.subterraneousrecords.com

Peace

…cracked

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