Volume 1
label: ph music
includes: cadence, kool kim, storm the unpredictable, gm grimm, o.u.o., doujah raze, asheru, icon the mic king, others.
year of release: 2003
1. Cade Money : Introduction
2. Dumi Right : Orientation
3. Omega Rhed : Ray-Cizm
4. Ron Karona : Whathappenedtorappin
5. Kamurshol
6. Cadence : Hard To Find
7. Asheru feat. Aychell : Idea
8. Doujah Raze : Irish Cream (H-Pe Remix)
9. Noyeek the Grizzly Bear : Noyeek
10. O.U.O. : Dotted Lines
11. Kev Strange : Don't Doubt It
12. Poemcees : Joe Theismann
13. Storm The Unpredictable : Low Down Dirty (Remix)
14. Educated Consumers : English201
15. Last Eighth : Eff Up A Show
16. GM Grimm : War
17. Akim The Funk Buddha : Lyrical Shaman
18. iCON The Mic King : "Parallel"
19. Kombat (NCP) : MC Killer
20. Kool Kim : You And I
21. Flex Mathews : BPM
22. Jabbajaw (NCP) : Simple Rules
It's at least noteworthy how many records of late emphasize the old qualities, stressing the intention to do better, separating themselves from all the blandness that reigns supreme in much of today's rap. As does this compilation, entitled "School Of Emceeing", what automatically gives away the focus of the record. Which goes as far as that there's not even any production credits listed on this record, really putting all the attention to the listed emcees. Who come from all circles of life and levels of fame, ranging from GM Grimm to Kev Strange to Asheru to Doujah Raze.
With all the tracks submitting to the overall concept, loosely, more close, or on spot like "8 Simple Rules" by Jabbajaw (NCP). The track starts with the bell ringing, the teacher is introducing the course, and Jabbajaw then lays down the rules over a flute driven beat, that might just be a little too musical for the purpose at hand. At the same time it lulls you into believing that you can be a good emcee too. What's kinda funny, because a good emcee on this record really means a good emcee. Not some political correctness type good emcee. Naw man. This is the truth here. And so we also get a GM Grimm ripping over a beat on "War". And he just does it, he spits to the purest core of the word, ripping air into brackets. And despite the hook, this is much more of an exhibition than a song.
The man behind the music Dumi Right, meaning, the man behind this compilation, steps to the mic himself on "Orientation", which is an excellent song, with a dope piano line, and words of reason and message. His second offering, as part of O.U.O., then opts for a hard dropping beat, that lacks the same appeal though. "Dotted Lines" does much of the standards: comparing, reminiscing and explaining, offering the microcosm map of the group. Fellow Boston Area emcee Cadence offers "Hard To Find", a little reality check for the would be, before Asheru offers "Idea", and kinda spoils the song with his introduction talking. The musicality of the beat fits the topic here, that's a sitting in the window, looking outside and letting your thoughts wander. Which is the travelling man aspect of the song. Other thoughts go more toward the concrete evaluating of things, partially rhyming in the "Rapper's Delight" flow.
Therefore much of the mentioned songs don't really center around the declared theme of the record in obvious ways. The educational purpose of the tracks is that the artists lead by example. However more focused on the concept is a "Whathappenedtorappin" by Ron Karona and symbolically also "English 201" by Educated Consumers (don't miss the subliminal message). Akim The Funk Buddha shows on "Lyrical Shaman" and iCON The Mic King shows on "Parallel" how the serious and eloquent emcees represent, while the first is more braggadocio and the second more poetic in a story telling way. Kombat (NCP) portrays the "MC Killer", before Flex Mathews does some word acrobatics on "BPM".
And even though it's not about the beats on here, the offerings on "Ray-Cizm" by Omega Right, Doujah Raze's "Irish Crème (H-Pe Remix)", the hard hitting with a very ill piano line "Noyeek" by Noyeek The Grizzly Bear, all attract at least as much attention to the boom bap as to the lyrics. Easily good is also Storm The Unpredictable's "Low Down Dirty (Remix)", the very jazzy "Eff Up A Show" by Last Eighth, and finally, we also need to mention Kool Kim, making a 'where are they now' appearance with "You And I". The song is slowly rolling, while the lyrics get personal.
With twenty two tracks, this compilation is certainly leaning towards the long, while that impression is enhanced by the few glitches here and there. Just the concept alone however, makes this a favorable effort. But the artists could have easily put more focus on the concept and concern themselves with it much more obviously. But the word is that a Volume 2 is very likely, so we're looking forward to graduate from the "School Of Emceeing" 101 to 201.
review: tadah
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