Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged rap

FYF Fest/Big Freedia (9/6/2010)

In 2008 I attended what was then known as Fuck Yeah Fest and despite confusing and complicated scheduling, it was obvious that the festival’s mastermind, a very young Sean Carlson, was on to something special. Fast-forward two years and the fest has a new name (FYF Fest), a more centralized location (Los Angeles State Historic Park), and a killer lineup (The Mountain Goats, The Rapture, and Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, among thirty-four others).


Plenty of famous (and not so famous) DJs have contributed to the FabricLive series: James Lavelle, Jacques Lu Cont, Diplo and even the late John Peel. So Baltimore “dirty rap” superstars Spank Rock had a lot to live up to with their mix, the thirty-third in the series. And while other albums may have been better mixed, or contain more unknown tracks, there is almost no competition when it comes to plain old danceability. Spank Rock are, by their own admission, all about the debauchery that comes with partying, so they know what they’re doing with a mix CD.

Moments in Movement

Formerly Romy Hoffman, Australian rapper Macromantics has released a debut hip-hop album that will keep her listeners guessing from track to track. After discovering hip-hop on a 1995 American tour with her pop punk band Noise Addict, Miss Macro spent the next few years fine-tuning her solid rhymes and traditional beats. It’s when she veers from the traditional path, however, that the album is at its best.

k-os: Live at the 9:30 Club (2/21/2007)

If hip-hop is now comparable to a staid night of champagne swilling, high profiling, platinum-plated debauchery, then k-os is as refreshing as the hazy Sunday morning brunch spread invitingly along an island shore. Following in the tracks laid by former underground artists, Talib Kweli and Common, k-os is a creative contained energy wielding a socially conscious, reggae splashed mandate. On February 21st, Washington D.C. welcomed the Canadian MC, born Kevin Brereton, to the hub of alternative music.

Lovers and Crypts

Straight outta Brooklyn, New York, Bunny Rabbit is a sound that is to be forgotten, at best. The music is drab and the beats predictable. Vocally, this is a woman who portrays herself as a sex object, who believes her only value is in being used for sex and nothing more.

Atlantis: Hymns for Disco

This is an impressive record. k-os is a rapper from Trinidad, who was raised in Toronto. His name stands for “Knowledge of Self.” The songs on this album steer clear of typical commercial hip-hop posturing. There is no talk of guns, gang violence or misogyny. In fact, on "The Rain," he openly reveals his pain over lost love. k-os' honesty and workmanship shine through on every number.

Mo’ Mega

At first listen Mo’ Mega’s bellicose sound seems somewhat uninviting. I thought it so heavy handed that it lost intricacy. I was wrong. Everything is intentional, from aggressive baselines to biting political criticism to the frustrated laments of a hardworking emcee. Lif’s lyrics aren’t afraid to get dirty, whether by treading on the Bush administration or describing the sexual exploits of a much-anticipated rendezvous.