The reason he looks like a superstar is because he IS a superstar. I speak of Grandpa Funnybook, and he has just released a street album for friends (and sometimes frenemies) called Grandpa Funnybook’s Mix-Tapingly Arranged Rapping Song Album 3! (Hand’Solo) and it features some of the best and upcoming forward-thinkers in not just hip-hop, but music in general, but the music is kept within a hip-hop contest. Some of the people you’ll hear include Wordburglar, Jesse Dangerously, Beefy, More Or Less, CasUno, Adam WarRock, Mega Ran, Ghettosocks, Kabuto the Python, Fresh Kils, Dual Core, Mikal kHill, and many more.
Believe or not, the street album is narrated by Grandpa Funnybook himself, who is illustrated on the cover by comic book artist Dave Howlet. The entire presentation was mixed by Peter Project, so if you like your hip-hop to not always stay on the same avenue or region as you listen, you’re really going to like what this is about.
Grandpa Funnybook is a character from the Wordburglar mindstate, and ol’ Grandpa has released a compilation album with a wide range of MC’s called Grandpa Funnybook’s Mix-Tapingly Arranged Rapping Song Album 2: Dyadic Dynamite!, an all-star sound orgy representing the more adventurous side of the boom bap.
The album features some of my favorite artists doing their thing with the type of rhyme schemes and beat/production structures I enjoy, including CasUno, El The Sensei, More Or Less, former Tri-Citian Beefy, and the ultra superfresh Jesse Dangerously. Together they create a seamless (and accurately made) mix-tape, where the songs are programmed non-stop so the listener doesn’t know when to calm down and breathe things in, or continue listening as a metaphorical endurance test. Looking at the cover, it reminds me of the power of the Mighty Heroes, and maybe the heroes on this album are the new version of that.
Some will say this is alternative hip-hop, nerdcore/nerd hop, or whatever people want to make-up to describe this. It’s hip-hop, period. If no one goes into record stores to go through categories, eliminate the tagging. However, if that is what you’re into, then Grandpa Funnybook’s Mix-Tapingly Arranged Rapping Song Album 2: Dyadic Dynamite! is what you’ll be into, if you’re not already in it.
P.U., kila mea wifa, who wen fut? Or is that a fut smell?
I don’t know, but according to CasUno, “Something Smells Funky” and would you like to know exactly what that “something” is? You can find out by downloading this Sequel-produced track for free (6.48mb).
“Living in isolated frustration” is what CasUno refers to in the opening track “The World According To Peter Pansy” (which features a nice verse from Esh The Monolith), and it seems CasUno went out of his way to make an attempt to throw focus on what his new EP is all about. The 8-track EP Sticks Out Like A Sore Chuck, a follow-up to last year’s Sticks Out Like A Sore Thumb (which I reviewed here), is a release for those who prefer to hear hip-hop lyrics and flows with a bit of edginess and broad range. He still delivers his rhymes as if he the working-class MC, and I don’t mean to say that in a way that describes the topics he talks about. What I’m suggesting is that CasUno has always been someone who sounds like he had a long day at work, and just to shoot the day, he’ll go back into the vaults of his mind and just deliver some nice rhymes that feel like a good meal after going throughout the day without anything to eat. If you haven’t figured it out, what I also mean to say is that he once again shows the effort he puts into his music and how he presents himself. I’m a huge fan of the EP too so while some fans would want more music, I say just wait for the next one.
Hip-hop seems to be in a very lofty place, and has been in the last decade. I like how high it has been able to go, but it’s as if artists reach that height and forget why they’re there in the first place. While CasUno is not on the level of a major hip-hop superstar, he has every right to be. Sticks Out Like A Sore Thumb (Labeless Intelligence) sounds like working class hip-hop, and I don’t mean it’s the hip-hop equilalent of Bruce Springsteen‘s Nebrasksa. It does sound like an MC who is hungry, understands the love and craft of the music, and does it with a spirit that defines what an MC is: a master of ceremony, the mic controller, the microphone commando. He may not have the perfect voice all the time, but would you want perfection 100 percent of the time? Even the best MC’s are advised to switch up a little, and maybe that’s what I’m hearing, someone who doesn’t want to come off like a robot. When he does deviate, it’s not radically different.
This is a feel good, laugh-at-your-ass type album, it’s not pure comedy but CasUno knows when to be a wise ass when needed. Otherwise, it’s an album where, through his music, he says “this is me, I know how to write, I know how to speak, now I’ll entertain you for an hour. Welcome to my world.” He’s not afraid to make a reference to a blumpkin, nor is he afraid to talk trash at groupies or people in general who come off one way but behind-the-scenes are someone else. Yes, maybe he feels his Sticks Out Like A Sore Thumb, but since he does stick out, find out what makes him stick in the first place. In other words, if you’re going to stand there to gawk, he’ll bust out some nice rhymes for you.
My favorite tracks here include “Electric ‘Ukulele” (the song with the blumpkin reference), “The Spit Pit”, and “The Simplistic Intricacy” and intricacy is what he’s all about. If he’s not an immediate favorite for you, come back to him later on. Once you hear something that blows you away, you’ll become a fan.