Saturday, August 26, 2017

2 Real - Any Last Words?

2 Real is a duo that represents from the relentless streets of Houston, TX. The group is composed of brothers Lil' V and Lil' D. The brothers also alternate their aliases as Vinnie Valentine and Mr. Everline. Together, they hold membership in the local collective known as the $tack Pack as well as the legendary, Killa Klan. 2 Real first started out in the mid nineties and debuted with the now highly covetable, "Welcome 2 Tha Real World." After about a fifteen year hiatus, the group finally decided to make a return to the underground rap scene. Any Last Words? is their sophomore effort and it was released independently in 2012 with limited copies. The album, which is somewhat of a mix tape and not an official record, was basically put together for their loyal fans who have been begging to hear some new material by the group. It was also an attempt to get back into the music industry with the hopes of being picked up by a major label. Most of the beats are borrowed from other artists but there are a few that are original in composition and are produced by John Brown The Rebel. His production pattern is pretty solid to say the least and it fares quite well with the overall sound that the group is trying to achieve. The beats are a bit contemporary in structure but they still carry that distinct underground sound that Houston was most known for. The process of sampling is also used by the producer to attain that desired melody. The two most notable coming from Johnny Cash's "Hurt" and Rick James' "Teardrops." Lyrically, both members may have lost a step or two since their last outing but it's good to see that they can still hold their own on the microphone. Their lyrics are still delivered cleverly and aggressively with extra attention towards word play and detail. Rhymes schemes and speech rates are kept at a varying pace so there's never a dull moment. Subject matter is also pretty diverse and open which in turn appeals to a broader audience. Guest appearances are made by Drankk $inatra and various members of the Killa Klan in the form of skits. All in all this was a very respectable release and it's one that certainly pays homage to the group's origins. As we all know, music as a whole has continued to evolve and even the South is not spared from the horrid renditions of today's popular selections. Artists are either selling out for money or for mass acceptance and reception. Still in the midst of all the nonsense, this group showed what it means to keep it real by staying true to their art and to themselves.

Deadly Verses
Revenge So Sweet


Teardrops


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Bumble B.H.E. - Pain

William Jackson, better known as Bumble B.H.E., was a socially active artist from the savage streets of Dallas, TX. He is often remembered for his controversial lyrics and equally provocative civil views which were the main cause of distress upon the media, politicians and even the African American community in the early nineties. Bumble B.H.E. first started off with the famed group, Nemesis but would soon leave them over creative differences. The differences being about the overall sound and the message the group as a whole was portraying. Pain is his debut solo album and it was released in 1992 on 380 Recordings while also being distributed through the larger and well established, Ichiban Records. The production in its' entirety is handled by the talented group of producers known as, The Bump Godz. The Bump Godz consists of Brother Black, DJ Zero, I.C.E., Suave-X and Bumble B.H.E., himself. Although the rhythms are all electronically derived and most are sample ridden, there are tracks where the producers incorporate live instruments such as horns and various types of guitars. The beats are of a simple nature and are generally presented in an uptempo fashion. This set up remains constant throughout the album and really does set the tone for the entire project. Lyrically, the artist is pretty blunt upon the microphone. Both his tone and persona come off as quite aggressive and he seems to get his point across with ease. His rhymes follow no dictated pattern which results in a very candid and honest approach. Guest appearances are made by Mad Wisdom and Gretta Epps. The record closes out with a total of thirteen tracks with each one being more ruthless than the next. The core content is of a harsh yet truthful nature as one can sense from the album's title and the intrusive caption printed on the cover. Overall the album does carry its' own charm but it can also get a bit redundant at times with its' brutal content. Nonetheless, the message it conveys is of an imperative nature especially when considering the turmoils and unrest which still plagues the African American communities to this very day.

Deadly Verses

Pain


If This Gets Out (It'll Cause World Wide Panic)