Emcees of Note (Part 2)

April 4, 2008

Alright, I’ve got more butter to turn into cream. If you haven’t checked out the first list of haymaker-worthy emcees, check em out near the bottom of the site…

Buff1 (www.myspace.com/buff1der)
Hailing from Ann Arbor, this emcee is maintaining the magic in smooth flowing hip-hop. As a member of the Athletic Mic League, Buff1 is notable for his honest lyrics and straight catchy hooks…oh yea, and this dude spits educated rhymes, unlike the junk “hip-hop” on the radio. His beats and rhythms hang in the pocket like few in the game currently. But I don’t need to spend too much time trying to convince you. His work speaks for itself. Check it out.buff1press1zg2.jpg

I wanted to post this video of k-os performing his song “Emcee Murdah” live.

Emcees of Note

December 7, 2007

saul_williams_1.gifIt seems like emcees are a popping up everywhere these days. Everybody and their brother is picking up the mic and trying their hand at writing. And frankly, the industry is being flooded by new “artists” who do old things. Creativity is being overshadowed by hopeful money-makers who would rather follow an overused pattern than step out on a limb and actually try something unique.

Fortunately for frustrated music listeners like myself, there are some emcees out there doing their own thing. And I think it’s time to let the cat out of the bag. So without further ado, here are the some of the sickest, up-and-coming emcees you need to know:

P.O.S (www.myspace.com/posisruiningmylife)
When mentioning the words “unique” and “emcee” in the same sentence, P.O.S is one of the first names that come to mind. His style contains elements of both hip-hop and rock, but the combination is done very tastefully. His beats range from interesting acoustic guitar riffs over organic beats to much more electronic beats with synths. But his vocals are the most impressive part of this emcee. His style is original and aggressive. Put plainly, this guy has charisma.

k-the-i??? (www.myspace.com/kthei)
This emcee embodies the spirit of art. If it’s possible to have avant-garde hip-hop, k-the-i would be the frontrunner of the genre. His beats are artful. His poetry is complex and more spoken than rapped. And he’s introducing his own sound to the hip-hop industry.

k-os (www.myspace.com/kos)
If you haven’t heard this Canadian artist, you have yet to have truly conquered creative hip-hop. His sound is diverse. One of the nice things about k-os is that he moves from rhyming to singing effortlessly. Honestly he could stick with either singing or emceeing and be as legit as anyone out there. Please…if you don’t check out any other artist on this list, you NEED to hear k-os. His music might just change the way you see hip-hop.

Saul Williams (www.myspace.com/saulwilliams)
With some of the most aggressive poetry to grace the hip-hop genre (if you can call it that), Saul Williams’ music resonates with charisma. His lyrics contain social, political, and philosophical themes that are delivered by one of the most unique voices to attempt spoken poetry. Mr. Williams is almost too diverse in his style to categorize him as simply “hip-hop,” and yet he has the skill to bring thoughtless emcees to their knees. Saul Williams is a necessity for the aesthetic of art in music.

(This list will be added to eventually.)

Hi-Tek: Hi-Teknology 3

December 6, 2007

hi_tek_3.jpgTony Cottrell is deadly…and he’s only getting better with time.

This latest album from Cottrell, better known as Hi-Tek, features his ever-progressing sound at a whole new level of maturity.   I knew about Hi-Tek from his work with Mos Def and Talib Kweli in Blackstar, but I really became intrigued with his work after hearing “Where It Started At” from his Hi-Teknology 2 album.  The song is amazing.  It combined unique melodies and dated samples in a way that only a truly gifted producer could mix them.  The result was a haunting track with hooks that are as catchy as they are original. 

As for his new work, Hi-Tek has further increased his legitimacy.  The album is full of creative tracks, but his track “My Piano” separates itself from the rest.  The song is magic.  Not only does it have support from Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, and Dion, but the hooks in the track exhibit Hi-Tek’s most effective creativity.  The sound is just haunting…there are no two ways about it.  Unfortunately for Hi-Tek, some of the tracks feature verses of fairly insignificant content.  To be honest, some of the lyricists have sacrificed content for an image.  But overall, the beats overshadow most of the weaker lyrical content of some of the songs.  [Two other songs of note are “God’s Plan” (featuring  Young Buck and Outlawz) and “Life To Me” (featuring Estelle).]