Bob Anonymous :: Throwing Ice at the Sun :: 1205 Records
as reviewed by Nervous

Despite the fact that there has been a reasonable amount of success in the last ten years from American cities that don't bookend the U.S. of A., the flyover states still seem to struggle with establishing a hip-hop identity and gaining that "name check" acceptance that comes to easily to Los Angeles, New York, and Atlanta.

When is the last time you remember someone mentioning the state of Kentucky in the grand scheme of hip-hop? They DO have a scene.

Aside from the criminally slept-on hip-hop collective Nappy Roots' VERY brief dance in the international spotlight, you would be hard pressed to think of any act representing Kentucky much less, Louisville.

However, I am well acquainted with the fact that just because you don't know that something is there, doesn't mean that it's not there. But I AM old enough to remember back when being located ANYWHERE other than Killa Kali or Nuevo York was pretty much a guarantee of terminal obscurity.

All these wonderful digital tools we have today, as well as the bloody dismembering of the old music business, have done a lot to break down barriers to wide variety of music, as well as removing the bricks from what composed the regional walls, so easily defined, some years back. It's only because of this that an artist from Kentucky DOES stand as much a chance of blowing as anyone who resides in, what used to be, the major player cities.

What I'm saying is that, despite the fact that it does not happen a lot, it is much more possible for an artist from an obscure location to ascend than it was several years ago and our man, Bob Anonymous, is trying to make that happen.

Bob Anonymous is a multi-instrumentalist rapper who produces most of his own material. He plays, he rhymes, he sings his own hooks, and he mixes and masters his own music. Sounds like a one man army (or better yet, a navy), let's see what he got, see if it's gravy.

"I kicked down the doe
Who you looking fo'
That muthafucka that took all my raps
And broke out with my flow
That muthafucka got something coming to em
Cause my veins got ice just running through em
That muthafucka got something coming to em
Cause my brain got sick thoughts running through em
That muthafucka, muthafucka
That muthafucka, muthafucka
That muthafucka, muthafucka
That muthafucka, muthafucka"

"Wait a sec, hold your bets, you get no respect
Try to swallow this, you could catch a swollen neck
Snake, a snowy Christmas in October, kid
It's what you won't expect, it's what you gonna get
Don't forget, make sure you take note
I threw the big microphone, mannequins, they up at my show to spi
It's no mistake, I move you like a mighty quake
Flowing til the ocean dries up into a tiny lake
Emotion, till the mountains come make way for miracles
Explosions, as the doubtful to make way for the spiritual
When all they saw was doom
And they heard was KABOOM"

I believe what I transcribed is AT LEAST 95% correct.

Moving on, we get to the song "Mike's Life" where he describes his HIGHLY personal relationship with his microphone, stating that his he and his mic go together like, "thieves and robbery". He takes it a step further at the 1:56 mark and states that his microphone "eats eggs every morning."

I've heard of rappers eating suckers, I've even heard rappers state that they eat suckas on the mic, what I have NEVER heard is a rapper claim that their microphone was ACTUALLY doing the eating! I listened to that one about four or five times to make sure that I heard it right.

The remaining lyrical content consists mostly of battle rhymes and esoteric verses that continued to put me in that same weird place the "mic and eggs" statement placed me in earlier.

Let's talk about the production. When I hear that people are instrumentalist, and when they claim that their inspirations are notables such as Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Wonder, I don't expect classic music, but I DO expect a higher level of musicality. When someone inspires you, I take that to mean that you understand the depth of what they were trying to do and you are making strides to touch a similar level.

Bob's tracks, though decent, don't do a lot to show me where his inspirational influences are kicking in at. A big problem I have here is the drums. They sound as if they are coming from the same type of drum machines I started out with back in the 80s. The give all of his music a seriously dated sound, that is unfair since his melodies are not really bad at all. Drums matter a lot.

There is one standout here. The track "Strange Fantasies" takes a fly hook, drums that actually work and reversed guitar and creates a smooth out joint that would do just fine in any slow creep up the boulevard. I ENCOURAGE Bob to do more work like this!

Overall, I don't feel that THIS album by Bob is going to be the one to put the focus on Kentucky. I do feel that he does have talent and a hell of a way with words. At least, he's TRYING to be original. If he takes it back to the lab, and tighten up the edges, we might be on to something here. Until then...

Music Vibes: 5 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 5 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 5 of 10

Originally posted: April 1, 2008