Angerville is steadily on the grind for 2008. On top of the solid "Angerville v. Royce Birth" album, they also dropped "Rebellion" – an album with producer Gamshooter. This time around it's not a conceptual album as Gamshooter is more of their day to day producer and this allows the group to show off their skills a little more. Without the pressure of conforming to the conceptual nature of the last album, Angerville seems to let loose more and drops a lot more variety on this CD. For those who didn't peep the "Angerville v.s Royce Birth" review (shame on you), Angerville is a Canadian duo of emcees with a penchant for more hardcore, traditional hip-hop. They're kind of like a Canadian version of M.O.P. except they don't have the deep, growling voices. That's no slight as I think few people could replicate the aggression of the Mash Out Posse. Last time around they dropped a concept album where up and coming producer Royce Birth provided some dark and grimy beats. This time around they collaborate with Gamshooter and while the beats aren't as dark as before, they are still solid and thump plenty hard.
The album kicks off with "The Rules" where the duo visits its humorous and serious side at the same time:
"Yo, when I see the cops coming I just start running
Cause I know they gon' try and lock me up for nothing
And I really don't like the Po
It seems like they always rolling up when I'm lighting the dro
Spark it! They want to lock me up
Interrogate me, pick my brain and slap me like a hockey puck
The hood's jumping, drug spots pumping
Back against the wall, that's when the thugs start thumping
Yeah, G-code First rule is silence
Second rule, heed the first or else there's going to be violence
Third rule, run whenever you hearing them sirens
Fourth rule, if you got a gat get rid of the iron
Fifth rule, give your jewels to a friend, someone you trust
That way you'll still have your shine when you get back from the pen
Rule number six, you should never shit where you live
Your best friends will turn to enemies and run in your crib
Rule number seven, simple, simple no maybes
If you rolling with a gat you need to keep it off of safety
Rule eight, keep it hood it ain't good to act crazy
Ninth rule, stay sharp, sharks wait til you lazy"
The crew isn't all street raps this time around either as they mix things up plenty on here. "Rap Mistress" is another song comparing rap to a woman, but it's a nice little song for the duo. "Dear Dad" is a heartfelt letter to the rapper's father that really touches the heart. "My Valentine" is a track dedicated to the ladies and it's something I would have never expected from this duo, but it's not bad for a thug love song. The crew even does the concept track on "8Bit" where they state they "spit that 8bit shit" but don't quite flesh out the concept as well as they could, barely alluding to the fact that "8Bit" is slang to the old school.
Overall, this is a better CD for Angerville as the emcees show more of what they are capable of. It's disappointing in a way as I would have loved to hear them come this hard on the last CD, but that's a personal thing since I prefer the darker sound. Gamshooter is no slouch on the boards, it's just a matter of personal preference. At 22 tracks the biggest real complaint is the length of this album. It gives you plenty of bang for your buck, but some of the songs end up repetitive in topic and sound and there are some throwaway tracks. The main one that comes to mind is a pointless McDonald's skit which I'm sure sounded hilarious to them as they recorded it but stands out as the low point on an otherwise solid album. Up to this point, Canada has slowly been getting a rep for being the home to emcees dedicated to "real hip-hop" – the kind of rap that takes us back to the golden era. The funny thing is that most Canadian rappers doing that kind of rap tend to focus on the fact that they are making "real hip-hop." Angerville on the otherhand just makes rap from the heart – it tends to be a hardcore, thugged out heart at times – but still they basically make hip-hop about their life and circumstances. In the end, Angerville's rap sounds more like the hardcore NY street hop that dominated the 1990s than the Classifieds and DL Incognitos of the world. That's no slight to either Classified or DL as I enjoy them both, but if you like your rap hardcore and banging you'd do well to check out Angerville.
Music Vibes: 7 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 7 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 7 of 10
Originally posted: December 9, 2008