I strongly believe in supporting independent hip-hop.
True enough, I can barely visit a service station today without someone with a knapsack full of slimline cases asking for a few bucks for their homemade efforts. More often than not, I end up buying the CD only to add to the world's escalating environmental issues when I slang it out the window with the rest of the GARBAGE a few miles from where the music and money first changed hands.
Okay, so I'm not doing that, but you all know what I am trying to say.
Every once in a while, I run across something that makes me glad that I'm so free with the parking lot donations when it comes to the hustling artist. This ten-track album I scooped up outside of my local RaceTrack service station was worth the money and I can honestly say that if these guys can stay true to the potential I peeped on their album, people WILL begin to take notice.
The name B.L.O.O.D. FAM (to be known for the remainder of this review as "BF") stands for Brothers.Loyalty.Order.Obedience.Discipline.
They hail from New Orleans and continue a pattern in that most independent releases I purchase from natives of the Crescent City always seem to be a cut above your average Down South endeavor. I do not know why, but the lyricists always seem to spend a little more time crafting their lyrics, care a bit more about flow (and not just swagger) and the producers seem to have given the production process considerable thought.
I honestly do not know what it is; I just know that I am rarely ever disappointed when I scoop a CD from a Nawlins native. I get plenty of chances at that since Katrina managed to relocate so many natives to my neck of the woods.
BF demonstrates STRONG potential out the pocket on the first 4 tracks of the 10-track album. Since they did not include a track listing with the album, I am going to have to guess at the song titles. If I get them wrong, mea culpa.
The first song "Big Black Chevy" brings to mind a Hot Boys record in that each rapper has a distinctly different voice and flow from each other, yet the chemistry they possess between each other makes the song cohesive. Some rappers just sound GREAT together and seem to bring out the best in each other when they decide to collaborate. These dudes have CHEMISTRY with the capital letters. Each group member spreads his style all over the high-energy bounce track and creates a joint that I can imagine rocking the hell out of a crowd whenever they perform it live.
They carry the energy from the first track over to the second next tune "Fly Boi" combining a catchy (and threatening) hook, a nice bounce track and lyrical chemistry between the members of the group to create what I would consider a hot follow-up single to "Big Black Chevy" if they had the benefit of radio play.
The crown jewel on this album, in my opinion, is the third track "Ghetto, Ghetto". This song is an ANTHEM, plain and simple. If BF can manage to blow, this will be the ONE they are going to be closing out every show with for the remainder of their hip-hop career. A slow meditation on life's trials and tribulations, yet delivering a message of hope, "Ghetto, Ghetto" stands out as the song that people, of every category, will walk away remembering.
Overall, these dudes have a polished sound, hard-to-find chemistry, charisma, distinct voices, and solid production. They can CARRY an album on their own, no problem.
The only beef I have is with the subject matter (booty, blood, beef, bullets and big bucks) and not because I am totally opposed to the subject matter, it is just that they will have to get to a place where they are speaking about it more creatively. However, they showed me something with "Ghetto, Ghetto" and I am convinced that as they get older, they will do what most truly talented emcees do and improve exponentially.
The best rappers alive know how to show you the same movie you have seen a million times before, yet they keep pushing until they are consistently in the running for "Best Picture" time and again.
Nervous Picks: "Big Black Chevy" and "Ghetto, Ghetto."
Music Vibes: 7 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 7 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 7 of 10
Originally posted: May 20, 2008