|He lives in Copenhagen. He is really from Philly however. That he shows when he teams up with Malik B of The Roots on "Black Sheep". But it's when he teams up with The.Prunes, or DJ Noize or all of the other European cats,
when the old world flavor sounds rather new and universal. And you want all those suckers that claim that Europe can never understand rap, to listen to this record, force feed it to 'em, just so that they finally shut up.
|Because if anything, listen to "Robin Hoodz", produced by DJ Jazz, featuring the live bass of Mike Tyler and the scratches by Kid Swift. And yes, we don't know about the localities of these artists, but in a true 'it's not
where you're from, it's where you're at' moment, these guys created one hell of a song. The beat is absolutely excellent, gets your head nodding without any forcing jabs and chops. We get rolling and Maylay opens with the words that he wants to do it 'old school' style. He moves on to just really rip
the beat, with a look over rough street corners, offering the views of a superfly on the wall. The wall belongs to his world though, and so he concludes that after all of this and that, he wants to get his too.
|Maylay opens his catalogue of topics with "Legacy", which is mainly his manifest. There's as much 'don't touch' rhyming on here, as political jabs and observational brackets. Context of the Blvd Connection adds a thick orchestra to the otherwise traditional boom bap.
Moving on we pause with "Head Check". Maylay gets the determined dial a notch further up over this The.Prunes beat that is one of the more elaborate offerings and showcases Maylay's versatility from one end of the spectrum to the next. He
proves musical understanding when he shuts up and lets the beat ride and finish the song. "5034" features one of the most incredible piano samples, that DJ Noize loops. Even though the sample is long, it doesn't go on your nerves. And Noize
knows when a little break is at place. The emotions in the music allow Maylay to explain a lot and let us into parts of his inside, without the whole getting corny or mushy. It's actually real and it adds a private side to an otherwise superhero responsibility every rapper seems to carry, and Maylay
seems particularly focused on.
|DJ Noize returns on the lesser "Konnichiwa", where he unsuccessfully tries to put some oriental flavor to the lyrics, that more successfully drops little oriental references, as Maylay basically takes us on a trip to the East. A better beat can be heard on "Black
Sheep", the song previously mentioned and featuring Malik B. It does the area proud, because it recites rhymes on area pride, or in the case of Malik, a proud stance of 'don't push me, 'cause I'm
'. Maylay then turns the ship around, when he makes "The
Method" a study piece of good verses, with a silly topic and chorus that repeats 'this is how you smoke a blunt.'
|With all the praise mentioned already, it needs to be said that "Al Dia" really leaves us indifferent if not even left out. The beat by Chaos and Malory sticks to a low boom that dominates everything else. There's a riddim chorus without much reason and the whole
song sounds so unbalanced and off everything, the posse type character can't get the ish outta dodge. This one track however can not take away much from the good impression of the record.
|Good, but why? Well, some people say that Europe treats rap still different, like back in the days really. Because there's not that much money to make. So you don't need to ponder what kinda of 'flavor of the month' style you need to do in order to sell, because you're not going to
get rich of whatever you sell anyway. That's very liberating and it has people stick to what they like. And apparently so, they like that real kind of rap, the more traditional, sample based, the 'you better come nice with the words' type rap. And "Graymatter" is exactly that.