Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Conscious rappers winning in 2012-2013

If you look at my rap collection it's mostly street shit.  That's what I relate to the most, and that's what I listen to the most... but I'm a fan of all types of non-commercial rap music, and I must note that several artists who are more in the "conscious" or "backpack" vein of things have dropped some dope shit within the last 6 months.  It's my baycentric duty to give them their proper shine.

First Light (Opio and Pep Love) "Hold On"

This track to me represents the best of that jazzy, laid back hip hop shit that's more often associated with the east coast.  If you listen for it you can hear the town business.  They also shot the video below the BART tracks, which places this song as authentically bay.  I could imagine NY artists doing the same thing with the subway.  Produced by Unjust from Chosen Few... who I knew as Justin Herman, the graphic designer for ABB Records when I did an internship with them back in the day.

Zion-I "Reload"

This song has a progressive, electronic, laid back sound.  I posted the version without the video, because the video kinda sucks IMHO.  It's too blown out with all the light, but if you want to watch Zumbi ride around on motor scooters you can look it up for yourself.  The sound itself is easy on the ears, and produced by
Dexbeats of Rockin Up Work fame.

2 of A Kind "Our Gift"
This is the most underground offering of this post.  I think these guys sent their music to my radio station or something.  Nice jazzy backpack hip hop, good lyrics and flow.  These guys are from San Ramone, and so far are my favorite artists I've heard from there.  As a matter of fact they are the ONLY artists I've heard from San Ramone, so as far as I'm concerned, these guys are putting San Ramone on the map.  Other favorite songs of mine are "Wake Up" and "Dream.

Check out their free mixtape here or follow them on Twitter @AyeJayMusic @MarcusAntMusic

The Coup "Guillotine"

I saved the best for last.

This song is amazing in that the beat is so goddamn funky it just makes you want to move your body, but the song is about a device used to chop peoples heads off.  Nice juxtoposition.  Well fucking played.  Apparently it's also a reference to The Wiz.

Now I'm a community college dropout, but to my knowledge the guillotine is a reference to the French Revolution, in which the people took over and started chopping the heads off of the ruling class.  So in this case, The Coup is threatening the powers that be of the potential repercussions of continued oppression.  But the beat is so god damn funky!  It has such a triumphant feel to it.  I think that if you took the condition of "being alive" and were able to translate it into music, you would get something like this.

Plus the girl playing Dorothy and singing in the video is hot as fucking fuck.  Everything about her from the way she looks to the way she moves.  Just my opinion.  I stalked her online, and discovered her identity... rapper ternt sanga Silk-E.

What do y'all think of these songs?
Does anyone else who listens to primarily street rap also like backpack hip hop?

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