"With aim as steady as Ichiro's swing", Seattle's Boom Bap Project is the next solid offering from indy superlabel Rhymesayers. It's hard not to like these guys, spittin' hard rhymes with a throwback mentality and a respect for the pure elements. Blessed with beats from next gen producer Jake One and a gang of fresh beatsmiths, you couldn't ask for a better coming-out party.
The vicious "1, 2, 3, 4", sports smashing piano keys, sparse drums, and a haunting sample sure to incite crowds. The breezy "Get Up, Get Up" is an ode to real hip-hoppers, while "Followin' Formulas" warns young emcees about the misleading deathtrap that is commercial conformity. BBP assures listeners that they're comfortable in their own shoes:
"We organized, push limits for self
Don't wanna be the signed cat collectin' dust on the shelf
I want blue chip status, respect as an artist
Our names in they mouth when they question who's the baddest
We ain't quittin', the battle's just started
Got clips of ammunition and the world's our target"
The vibrant block party anthem "Rock the Spot" is suddenly preempted by a "public service announcement" where the group promptly switches up to a more serious tone, letting their candid opinions be known regarding "Big Brother". Didn't I say these guys were throwbacks! Dilated Peoples' Rakaa drops in on "Cut Down Ya Options" to assist BBP mow over any and all comers:
"I spit stars, black holes, sun and moon rap
To catch 'em catchin' ZZZ's like an afternoon nap
I'm Rakaa Iriscience, shoulda known from the sirens
When I ring the alarm, get up or move back"
Triple Threat's DJ Vinroc unleashes a needle showcase for "The Back Bone of Hip Hop", a title well deserved if only for the vocal sample of none other than the unappreciated Funk Doc, Redman. "Sho Shot" is yet another enjoyable party starter. The sonic demolition "Ammunition" costarring Quannum's Lifesavas is a rock hybrid that manages to come through in a major way. The title track reiterates BBP's endless quest to stay true to themselves, trying their hardest to avoid contamination from their surroundings:
"What we go through to do what he do, she do
(Can't see beyond ourselves) and so we cling to what we think true
The who, why, what's and when's
The lies that they tell you when they sellin' you trends
Then we redo and relive all over again"
The quirky "War of the Roses" (featuring Grayskul) and the menancing bonus track "Sounds of the Street" closes the album just as strong as it started. In fact, there aren't any noticeable letdowns anywhere. A thorough, complete album from Boom Bap Project. A must-buy for any fan who likes their hip-hop straight, no chaser. Pull out your umbrellas, I sense a Seattle "reign" coming.
Music Vibes: 8 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 7 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 7.5 of 10
Originally posted: August 2, 2005