Lucas, Count Bass D, and Aventee albums
By: Paul Stone
Like I said, this section is a little bigger than it will be in the future and the new reviews are a lot smaller, but anyway...
Being that Hip Hop has always been the most personal and reality based form of music, it's not unusual for an artist to share his or her feelings, experiences, and points of view. Even so, it's seldom that we really get an opportunity to delve deep into their psyche and explore the very core of their mindset, in a way which we can either relate to or at least begin to understand. Here are three albums I think are great examples of this.
Most heads will remember "Lucas with the Lid Off", the single which got some air-play even on MTV a while back, but not as many people picked up on this very creative piece of work.
Structured almost like a musical book of poetry, the album succeeds in actually giving the listener a good look at lucas with the lid off, almost literally, discussing his struggles as an artist on "In it for the Lifelong" and the difficulty of making life decisions along with finding direction with "Wau Wau Wau". The song, "Spin the Globe", tracks the Hip Hop culture's influence all over the world, including verses in French, Spanish, and Indian to name a few. Lucas displays his best lyrical skill on "The Muted Trumpet", a track dedicated to self expression.
COUNT BASS D "PRE-LIFE CRISIS"
This smooth, laid back lp is made up almost completely of live instrumentation. With Count Bass D taking the role of the band leader as well as most of the band! Making use of drums, bass guitar, piano, electric piano and synthesizer along with several others, not to mention vocals. Assistence by Mark Nash on guitar, Vinceant Simms as a guest m.c., and other talented musicians, enhance the already rich sound of the project. The mellow tracks are laced with tranquil verses and occasional singing, primarily within the choruses.
Dealing with topics such as sex, shown on "Sandwiches", this single is a comical and metaphorical look at women, comparing them to...well, sandwiches. This same theme is pulled off equally well on "Agriculture", a duet with Vinceant Simms, this time making a comparison between sex and planting and Money trouble, on "Broke Thursday". The Count gets deep into his personal life, but also breaks it up with the humor of "the Dozens" and "T-Boz Tried to Talk to Me" which tells of his encounter with the TLC star.
AYENTEE "LIFE WITHOUT FILTERS"
Here's the third example, this album couldn't get any closer into the artist's mind without putting a headphone jack in the back of his head. A member of Kemetic suns, Ayentee blends creative subject matter, rhyming skill, originality, and a sense of humor, resulting in "Life Without Filters", his debut underground tape from 1995.
Some underground followers might know Ayentee from his appearance on Fundamentals "Falling Down". Themes on the album vary from trying to succeed in Hip Hop to female troubles. One of the most unique elements of the project is "Me Vs. Me", a track where Ayentee goes head to head with none other than himself! Switching style and beat back and forth throughout verses. A good example of creative sampling is shown in "Music Makers", an interlude borrowing a clip of the movie "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory".