What hip hop is, and what it’s been pigeon holed as, are two different things – to the extent that it can be difficult to distinguish where the line is between hip hop music and hip hop as a cultural identity. Music isn’t the only aspect of hip hop culture, and whilst emceeing is intrinsic to hip hop, not all rap is hip hop.
Context is a funny matter… it makes the same thing make sense twice
What is it, then, that makes something like Darkness, by Kings of the City, hip hop? The production is acoustic drums, electric guitar and organ, there’s an indie blues vocal chorus, and we’ve (okay, I’ve) already established that all things rap aren’t by default hip hop… of course, the calibre of emcees here, including the one time king of the castle of hip hop in England Klashnekoff, does help. Is it the intangibles, the references, bounce of the rhythm that swings it?
Or is it none of the above because it’s not hip hop and it is simply music? Context is a funny matter… it makes the same thing make sense twice. You can download a free three track promo from Kings of the City, including Darkness, at their site.
Rewd Adams is getting to the stage where the ‘formerly known as Skandal’ tag is no longer required when describing him, and in order to bang the final nails into that coffin he’s just about to drop a free LP. The generous 13 track’s major themes revolve around Rewd’s determination in spite of obstacles laid in his path, whether in the form of of circumstances or other people standing in his way.
major themes revolve around Rewd’s determination in spite of obstacles laid in his path
‘Onwards and upwards’ is the overarching philosophy to the collection, perhaps best illustrated by tracks like I Know, and it’s a refreshing change of tack in the face of so many rappers who seem to be constantly at loggerheads with someone or something.
Stylistically there’s a mix of soul samples, spacey synth beats and crunchy orchestral sections courtesy of Jon Phonics, M-Phazes, Beat Butcha, Sivey, Ed Strong, Loudmouth Melvin and Jetsun. There’s a fairly homogenous middling tempo to the LP, which is a shame considering 2009′s Hunger Pains mixtape showed off Adams’ range and capabilities with double time and half time flows, but nevertheless Rewd keeps things interesting throughout, assisted by guest appearances from Klashnekoff, P Money, Black the Ripper, and the vocal talents of Graziella and Neenah.
Production values to all the tracks are high, with crisp, well balanced mix downs providing clear vocals, thundering bass and smooth highs.
Rewd Awakening will be available to download for free from Rewd Adams’ site on the 5th of February… Keep an out out for an interview with Rewd on Oh Drat, published soon.