Esinchill first crossed our radar in 2008 with an album staff writer Nervous summed up like this: “It is an enjoyable, safe listen for someone out on a first date with a lady who likes a little bit of champagne with her beer… but you will not be playing this one when you’re getting ready to hit the bench press at the gym.” In other words Esinchill’s debut was a musically and lyrically interesting album, but generally a little too experimental to get over with the most hardcore of hip-hop heads.
Having checked out his follow-up EP “theFury,” it seems that E has made a little progress over his initial Bay Area debut. There are no liner notes with my copy, but the production on “1000 Times” is a swinging mixture of bass, funk and flutes that evokes the best of the 1970’s while Esinchill spits an aggressive delivery that sounds far from experimental or esoteric. In fact he seems like a edutationally inspired and amped mixture of Boots Riley and Suga Free:
“They say the early bird catches the worm
And a watched pot don’t burn (my momma told me)
A penny saved is a penny earned
And they’ll try to take it at e’ry turn, lesson learned
Now who is that cat there lookin so bare?
No labels, no wrist or neckware
He’s so secondhand, he’s so Goodwill
Long as he make the hood feel good then it’s a good deal
I never hate, get your 20’s, 60’s, 7’s and 8’s
I’m just into buyin them homes with loans with great interest rates
Purchase them things that over time appreciates
Plus I’d rather secure my daughter’s dinner plates”
Now that’s not something you’d necessarily expect from a hella Cali swanger, but if this is how Esinchill separates himself from the average artist in his neighborhood I’m all the way with it. He might declare his music is “strictly for the hogs” but he’s not above teaching them a lesson at the same time. When you realize his name is pronounced “essential” it all starts to come together, because songs like “Maybe Her Too” are essential listening. This is hip-hop that can show love without being soft:
“Your feet, your lips and your teeth, your hips
Your calves, your chest, your abs, your neck
Your smell, your tone, the yell, the moan
I wanna feel you girl
To touch you, to suck you, to fuck you, to trust you
I need you girl (let’s do this boyyyy)
You, me, her, us
This thrust is a must… what a rush”
Quiet storm with a hardcore hip-hop edge? I can dig it. Again it’s a shame this copy didn’t come with liner notes so I could know who his partner in rhyme is but she’s fly too. In fact this whole EP is the bomb – Cali cool and progressive without being corny, beats that reflect the different moods E wants to express from the struggle anthem “Hold On” to the hardcore White House hustle of “Secret Service.” Check for Esinchill – he may not be the most essential artist in hip-hop yet but he’s on his way.