Typical Cats, the widely hailed hip-hop crew from Chicago, made waves with their self-titled album in 2001 but haven’t been heard from as a group since 2004. I’m not aware that they had an acrimonious break-up though – in fact Denizen Kane and Qwel are still dropping albums onGalapagos4, the same label they were signed to collectively as the T.C. crew. Obviously things are at least to some degree all good, but what about Qwazaar? Up until recently he hadn’t dropped any CD as a soloist, but he finally broke the ice in July with his own EP on Galapagos called “Style Be the King.” It was also the debut of his collaboration with Batsauce, a producer whose seemingly silly name almost subverts his serious skills behind the boards. He’s in demand worldwide from his native Jacksonville, Florida to his adopted home of Berlin, Germany. Don’t sleep just because of the name.

Sleeping is probably a problem for Qwazaar in general, which could be why he’s been content to let his other Typical Cats co-horts have the limelight, with Qwel arguably being the most active. It’s easy to take the backseat when other stars seem to shine – to be the Dinco D to Busta Rhymes or the Phife Dawg to Q-Tip. Or it just may be that Qwazaar was quite literally sleeping himself – taking an extended Rip Van Winkle while the rest of hip-hop kept swaggering and bling blinging away. Well it’s good to know he’s back in 2011 with something to say, and though hip-hop has had its up and downs, he’s kept an “Eye to the Sky”:

“Oh my, very nice, so high, up there
I might fly, up there, and die, from no air
Hold tight, we good, no fear, no scare
We gone, up there, just flowin, nowhere
I’m zoning through the middle of it all
I see the world like I never ever could before”

And he’s also kept two feet on the ground, even surrounded by “Surrealism”:

“Another day goes by, same old shit
A box within a box within a box, there it is
Is it there? Tellin myself, it don’t exist
The walls ain’t there, no bricks, just air
Infinite ‘mount of space for your world to spin great
But all I kept seein was the floor where I lay
Them cracks in the sky, countin ’em every day
Maybe when I wake up feel a little less ache”

Although he’s a Chicagoan by trade, Qwazaar comes off more than a little bit Left Coast in his delivery and flow. His rhyme structure tends to weave in and out of bars instead of following simplistic patterns. His writing can be shall we say right-brained, although that comes at a price. He puts so much stock in the artistic structuring of his bars that the emphasis of the words themselves is not exactly monotonous but does sometimes lack a grandly emotive feel. It’s almost as though he’s a rap Buddhist, meditating his way through his linguistic display, not letting the world knock him off balance. Batsauce compliments this by giving him airy broad brushstrokes of beats, although occasionally Qwazaar amps his delivery on songs like “The Dream”:

“People spend a lot of time waiting they life away
Wastin they life away, hatin they life today
Starin in the mirrors at them wrinkles like they modelin for somethin
All somber watchin hairs turn brown to grey
Now I don’t know why, none of them usin they minutes
to dedicate ’em to livin how they want instead of bein slaves
I just know I, don’t wanna leave this planet until I feed my gamut
And if I die still I can say I ate”

It’s fair to say there’s nothing really typical about this cat named Qwazaar, and it seems that in Batsauce he’s found a partner in crime who understands his tendencies and can be a Chief Xcel to his Gift of Gab. The partnership is so natural one can only hope it’s the beginning of more collabos to come.

Qwazaar & Batsauce :: Bat Meets Blaine
7.5Overall Score