There was a time when hip-hop looked beyond its own limits, wanting to expand over what it had created for itself. Some felt that doing anything “other than” meant you weren’t hip-hop, and that was especially true within the United States. Over in hip-hop, raps and breakbeats were turning into new genres, sub-genres, and sub-genres of sub-genres. To hear it as it went down, even with a two to three month delay, felt like you were rushing into the future awaiting for that rocket ship to come through and take you even further. Elucid is a Brooklyn rapper who makes music is very much of that futuristic vibe, at least he is someone who is allowing his flows to be taken to/into new places that very few would dare due today, so once again it is music of the unknown future, destination unknown.
Super Chocolate Back Simian is said to be a two-part mixtape with 12 tracks of relentless hip-hop passion. It reminds me of what was going on in the mid-90’s when producers and MC’s were doing loads of multi-layering that was slightly different from Bomb Squad‘s techniques, but very much about altering what you think you’re listening. Elucid can sound very gruff, as he does in “Pain Parade”, but other times he could easily become one of today’s top maintream rapper too. However, he’s covering topics that aren’t easy to get into, or at least it will take a number of lyrics to understand his stories and metaphors, this is not easy listening hip-hop by any means. The El-P-produced “MEANR” begins almost without a rhythm, or at least the voice is the rhythm and the drums are non-existent during the intro. When the beats kick in, it sounds paranoid and insane. With a line like “jungle fever, no, we don’t pay for reefer/top dollar, bring me the head of Justin Bieber”, this is not about making power moves to become an MC for models and swimsuit endorsements, this is that afterworld shit and it’s great.
Even though it sounds like what hip-hop could sound like ten to twenty years from now, its very Eurocentric qualities with hints of reggae and dub shows that all of the producers involved (along with El-P, songs are produced by Sensei, Breakage, Jamie Vex’d, 12th Planet, Chasing Shadows, Mexicans with Guns, Lorn/Samiyam, Skream, Leonard Destroy, and DVA are smiling and smirking with the potential of bringing their style of music out of their minds and into the world. The entire project was tightly controlled by Primus Luta, and upon hearing how it’s presented, I definitely want to hear what Elucid offers next. Upon my first listen, I found it hard to immediately come up with an easy way to describe it, but I had said that perhaps it’s “post-apocalyptic hip-hop for those still with hope”. In other words, if hip-hop has been declared dead, this is the music for people willing to wait for it to resurrect itself.
(Super Chocolate Black Simian can be downloaded for free by going to ConcreteSoundSystem.com.)