Sunday, November 15, 2009

Round 2

I threw this up here a few months back, but DC's main MC has just released his debut album and Wale is not going to miss his shot. This guy has been grinding it out in DC for years and he definitely has something to prove. Prove it he does. He draws a bit more from the Lupe Fiasco school of hip hop - smoother story-telling, somewhat more conscientious and abstract - than from the traditional top 40 radio stuff. But he has his moments of flashy cars and fashion labels and whatnot. Some lyricists just sound like they're working for it - he does not. On Mirrors in particular, you are with him every step of the way, same on Shades. Very tight, clean stuff with some excellent production from folks like Mark Ronson, TV on the Radio, and Pharrell. The backup lyrics on Pretty Girls is straight 70s smooth jazz, while Shades takes me right to a Mary J Blige 90s track - but it's all current, fresh and funky as hell. You don't hear a lot of hip hop artists working with staccato, syncopation and really using the off beats to their advantage, but he really plays with pacing, pauses and open space. It's impressive - dude has a style.

Attention Deficit

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