REVIEW: Kid Tsunami’s “The Chase”

 photo KidTsunami_cover_zps76d0983c.jpg In terms of coming up with an all-star album of rappers, Kid Tsunami’s The Chase (HeadBop) has to be one of the best, although the hip-hop elite might tell you “but wait: these are old school rappers.” As if that’s a bad thing.

The premise of The Chase is that all of the guests on the album are rappers from the 80’s and 90’s, so this is meant to have that old school feel, not only by those who are rhyming, but in the way the instrumentals are made, from well known and worn samples to the productions, where sometimes the horn samples may not be in the same key as the rest of the song. As for those rappers, check out the roster here: Sean Price, Masta Ace, O.C., Prince Po, Bahamadia, AG, Kool G. Rap, Buckshot, Chubb Rock, Pharoahe Monche, Jeru The Damaja, Percee P, El Da Sensei, Craig G., Yesh, J-Live, Thirstin Howl The 3rd, and Sadat X, all delivering fine lines and verses. The one who completely takes the entire album away is the one and only KRS-One, who talks about being in hip-hop for a long time, where hip-hop is from and where it’s going, and why people will still pay for a ticket to hear him speak over funky music. Rap music today may not be where it’s at, but when it comes to KRS-One, it is where it’s at and always will be. When Craig G. makes references to Australia in “Worldwide Connex”, he is referring to Kid Tsunami’s home base in the city of Perth, Western Australia. While most of the MC’s on this album are of American origin, there was a time when hearing their music truly felt worldwide. A small part of me wishes that some of these guys would have rhymed over different styled beats, but I think it would have given the album a bit of an imbalance. Not that Kool G. Rap couldn’t do it, we all remember his verses in UNKLE’s “Guns Blazing (Drums Of Death (Part 1)”, but I think The Chase captures not only a vibe, but a time in history, when going for the paper chase was something you did while making an emphasis to create good music. If the sole hunger is money, the music will suffer, at least to me. Kid Tsunami pulls it off quite well.

REVIEW: DJ Absurd’s “Flying Colours”

Photobucket From DJ to producer, DJ Absurd has seen himself involved as a participant of hip-hop, and with a new EP he will be proving himself to the naysayers, along with making people know he’s in this for the long run.

Flying Colours (Absurd Entertainment/Diamond Music Group/Coalmine) is a 7-song EP that has more impact in its duration than albums that have 15 interludes, 2 hits, and 27 tracks of mindless filler, there’s no filler on this whatsoever. Here, DJ Absurd takes things to the real hip-hop with help from Jaz-O, Craig G., Ransom, Termanology, Big Lou, Trife Da God and others who deliver top notch wisdom from their notebooks. As for DJ Absurd, the tracks are hot, you’ll feel the soon-to-be-masterpieces as soon as they start, and hearing Jaz-O in the title track will make many wish it was he who gained a reputation and not Jay-Z. I love the beats that back up Craig G. in “Slap Nerds”, who offers one of the most inspiring verses I’ve heard in some time. It’s a reminder to the old school that build this music, and the new school who are quick to claim ownership without putting in any of the hard work:

A&R’s, program directors are one and the same
The power goes to the head, it makes them dumb in the brain
It’s an assembly line, taking fun and the gain
But guess who be covered in sheets under the stains
‘Cause I know you sick of that same ol’ shit
“my gun, my jewels, my house, my whips”
I be the first one to say it, I ain’t no punk
I’m a little too grown to be fuckin’ with crunk
“Hands up! Hands up!”, man fuck that shit
I’m about lyricism, pugilism, the gift
Won’t be tarnished for no one, for real I’m disagreein’
If you don’t want to do it, let’s take it to stage this evening
If you don’t agree with us, we’ll have words
Craig G., DJ Absurd, we slap nerds
Don’t get too close or you might get shot
It’s that trash that you doin’ that’s fuckin’ up hip-hop

It may be an old man/young man debate and complaint, but it’s hard to deny what Craig G. is saying. He comes off like an artist with experience, I compare this to Heltah Skeltah‘s recent album where they still had the spirit of their youth, but were not afraid to show they were adults in a game that isn’t about winning or losing, but surviving.

To hear DJ Absurd’s work on Flying Colours is to hear someone who loves what he does and wants to be able to assist in completing an MC’s mission. It’s about the execution, and everyone on this EP is going in for the kill. It’s a great EP that is brief but far from being less powerful in its impact.