Hot on the heels off of giving Boldy James’ October 15th release, My 1st Chemistry Set, a hard listen, another Motor City rapper, Quelle Chris dropped a nugget for our perusal, October 29th’s Ghost at the Finish Line. The rapper’s third full length album further perpetuates the much beleaguered bankrupt city’s hypnotic hold on the craft. Hit the jump to read the review in its entirety - Spotify album stream included.]]>
Ghost at the Finish Line
Mello Music Group
Hot on the heels off of giving Boldy James’ October 15th release, My 1st Chemistry Set, a hard listen, another Motor City rapper, Quelle Chris dropped a nugget for our perusal, October 29th’s Ghost at the Finish Line. The rapper’s third full length album further perpetuates the much beleaguered bankrupt city’s hypnotic hold on the craft.
Ghost at the Finish Line’s haunting opener, “You’ll Be Your Star,” featuring Jimetta Rose, serves as a fine spoken word wind up to the album, in addition to exposing Jimetta Rose’s artistry, which is absolutely worth a separate exploration of its own.
“Loop Dreams” has an eerie trippiness that gives it a modern feel, though its rhyming style is slightly reminiscent of a 1990s Dr. Dre joint. “What Up,” with its catchy refrain, conjures another Detroit native with an Eminem-esque cadence to it.
“Wait a Minute,” featuring Denmark Vessey), is masterful in its familiar feel. You’ll swear you’ve heard it before. You haven’t. Coercive in its reassuring lyrics (“Just do it. Don’t worry. It’s just music.”), the song’s catchy backing sampled guitar track takes it firmly out of the realm of the traditional.
“Super F*ck” is properly cited as perhaps the most hilarious Hip-Hop song of the year. The acapella tribute to Mary J Blige with a “real butt” twist is priceless. It should be no surprise based off of its illustrious cameos that “Prx,” featuring Guilty Simpson & Alchemist, turned out strong. Electric guitar intro, stutter stop beat and incorporation of instrumentation make this song sound like it’s sneaking up on you.
“King Is Dead” and its precise strings leave a chill in your bone. before “Undying” mixes it up with aggressive, tribal percussion, and smirkworthy wordplay (“anchor for the grievning news”).
Look to “Coke Rap War Game,” featuring Black Milk and Denmark Vessey, for great rhymes end to end. “Look At Shorty” is dreamy, sweet in a totally obscene way, a night and day difference from the pleasant, upbeat and gratitude rich “Life Beyond,” featuring Mosel.
The album’s namesake, “Ghost at the Finish Line,” is like a punch to the heart. Lyrics such as, “Don’t nobody love me, don’t nobody really love me,” dive to the depths of our deepest insecurities, only to be followed by the same hollow reassurances we give ourselves, “When i make money, everything will be okay.”
For those of the LP persuasion, get your hands on the the gorgeous tri-color vinyl. This edition is a perfect complement to the album’s artwork and handdrawn typography. Though good on the first spin, Ghost at the Finish Line benefits from repeated listens. Quelle Chris stands out as yet another excellent Midwest master, giving credence to his home as the emerging heartbeat of Hip-Hop.
Indiana spit kicker Cas One has been out for a while since his 2005 debut Liberation. From working with the likes of Brother Ali, Sadistik and the late Eyedea, to evolving his craft, Cas unveils his most profound effort to date with The Monster and the Wishing Well, which became available on October 29th. We encourage you to hit the jump to give this promising artist's new album a spin, and while you're at it, be sure to check out the visuals for the album cut "Long Walk."]]>
The landscape of indie hip-hop changes forever with the release of Cas One’s The Monster and the Wishing Well, a 16-track opus that defies the traditional definition of hip-hop and gives it a fresh meaning.
Cas One is working tirelessly to establish himself as a lyrical wrecking ball capable of spitting with the best of them. He’s worked with everyone from Brother Ali and Sadistik, to the late Eyedea and Ceschi Ramos of Fake Four, Inc. His 2005 debut, Liberation, was a valiant effort, which was not only widely received, but also critically acclaimed on sites like 2DopeBoyz and Okayplayer.
On The Monster and the Wishing Well, Cas One finds a way to address heavy topics while retaining intriguing musicality and infectious, unrelenting beats. Guest spots include Ceschi Ramos and Kristoff Krane on “Never Runner” and Bitter Stephens on “Empty Nest.” But overall, this is unmistakably a Cas One album. The songs are tales of a young man growing up, becoming a father, a husband, and feeling out the methods of balancing it all out with his artistic passion. Not to mention, Cas One’s lyrical skills are on point. He rhymes with confidence and honesty as he tightly holds on to the fluidity of each verse. His live shows are filled with boundless energy. Cas One is literally one to watch. The Monster and the Wishing Well continues a promising career for an artist who is just getting started.
Watch Marco Polo Make A BEat From Scratch From Three Random Records]]>
Last Thursday, we met up with YC The Cynic for a Red Bull Sound Select event at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn. The show debuted three artists newly signed to Sound Select: YC The Cynic, Kiah Victoria and CharlieRed. Each artist explored a different genre. YC showed off his skills on the mic by merging a few of his hit songs and acapellas. Wanna learn more about the MC? Check out our exclusive interview after the jump...]]>
On October 28th, YC The Cynic performed at a Red Bull Sound Select event at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn. The show debuted three artists newly signed to Red Bull Sound Select: YC The Cynic, Kiah Victoria and CharlieRED. Each artist explored a different genre. YC showed off his skills on the mic by merging a few of his hit songs such as “Hello Newman” and “Molotovs at Poseidon” to a few a Capella. The crowd was left speechless when YC took his orange lit, retro mic to drop a sixteen.
When I do shows I just like to perform the best songs over the spend of my career that translate well to stage, participation and energy.
We first spotted YC in front of the venue surrounded by a few of his close friends. He was sporting new eyeglasses changing his signature from the picture below to the one above.
You know I like try new things. I always wanted to rock some Lennon. I like to change it up a little bit.
Even though the young MC likes the Lennon-glasses look he is not a die-hard Beatles fan.
I respect the Beatles. I wouldn’t say that I’m a fan but I love the music that I have heard I just haven’t dug deep into their catalog. They are undoubtedly one of the best in history.
Earlier this year we went to YC’s album release party. Peter Rosenberg was there, Rebel Diaz was there, Scienze, Otis Clapp, Dao Jones, Final Outlaw, Soul Khan, Frank Drake (who produced the album) and many more were there. At the Red Bull event, a few familiar faces were seen: Otis, Final Outlaw who ran by the name of James for the night and Frank Drake. Overtime, tight friendships between each artist, all big in the underground New York rap scene.
It’s a pretty small scene, the open mic scene that existed in late 2000 early 2010. I met [Soul Khan] at an open mic, he was doing shows called Brown Bag Thursday with The Brown Bag All Stars and they picked me for one of the shows. It’s just a cool friendship. Then I met Scienze and Scene and we kind of formed a “crew” called The Holy Order. We put out one song!,” he says enthusiastically, “It’s called “The Holy Order.””
GNK was highly acclaimed by critics and fans.
I expected it to be a step that would open me up to a new fan base, just like a new world of people and it’s done that. It definitely feels like the defining step. This feels like the beginning of my career again. Not in terms of what I have put out but in terms of finding out what kind of artist I am and that I want to be. It’s really good feeling I have never experienced before.
The MC feels “really good” about the positive response he received from a new found fandom. Since his album dropped, YC has had more and more people hitting him up via social media websites. Some tweet some of his lyrics, others change their profile picture to the album cover. For the past few weeks, YC has been on tour.
Touring is amazing! It’s always fun to play music for people who have never seen you or even never heard you before.” The tour YC was on was not a “YC THE CYNIC TOUR.” The tour was organized by a company who brought together 25 artists and musicians from 16 different countries. We stayed in Florida for two weeks and created music from scrap. It was crazy! I saw instruments I had never seen or heard before. My friend Jiha Park from South Korea had this crazy instrument. It looked like a gun from Men In Black or something. It was a crazy experience!
In November YC will leave again to go to the Midwest: Chicago Milwakee, Detroit. You can catch YC in concert in New York City at the Gramercy Theatre (127 E, 23rd Street) on January 18th 2014 along Homeboy Sandman, I Am Many, Open Mike Eagle and Tone Tank.