Although Vice Haus is only seven tracks long, each number brings quality and diversity to the table, showing off the duality of Bowie's voice as he switches from rapping to singing - all the while keeping your attention with only one feature (Miloh Smith) throughout the whole thing. Subjects like money and strippers are looked at from a different perspective on tracks such as "M.O.B. Pt. 1 and 2," and he even moves into some pop terrain with "Little League Love." In the end, "Take Em to Church" offers a more spiritual approach, expressing his faults and concerns with a higher power - one of many surprises from yet another promising artist from the south side of Atlanta.
Zano's quick-fire delivery and rambles of hallucinatory wordplay shape a large part of At Arms Length, front-loading the LP with three tracks of the Atlanta emcee's unique vocals. Much like Beans at his best, Devoe's slanting and shifting production provides a bizarrely symbiotic playground for Zano's alien transmissions.
"String Theory," featuring Adron's ethereal vocals, picks up where the post-millenial Warp or Anticon laptop-based producers left off, clinically cutting and pasting post-modern pastiche and darkly engaging beauty. "Call and Response," an esoteric transgression that falls midway through the LP, is a spidery travelogue of post-modern pop. Think the Books' sonic collages if the Modern Love label existed in 2002.
As such, the album gets a little preachy from time to time. Unlike the Lupe we met on Food & Liquor, he seems to lose The Cool a bit this time around, sounding like a parent who's frustrated with the ill ways of the current music industry and the country, rather than just being the regular Lupe that we’ve come to know. These frustrations come through strongest on such tracks as "ITAL (Roses)" and “Lamborghini Angels,” in which he rhymes, "With the teleprompter rolling he looks right into the lens/ Doesn’t mention his redemption but absolves him of his sins."
Four hundred thirty-one. Number of days Edgewood rapper and Duct Tape label affiliate Trouble's been out of the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary. Hence the name of his new mixtape, 431 Days, the follow-up to his critically acclaimed debut mixtape, December 17, so named for the day he was released from the pen in 2010.
Based on those titles alone, it would be fair to assume that Trouble relishes freedom. It's a safe assumption, especially on such standouts as the appropriately titled "Free" and "All I'm Worried About." But it doesn't mean he's above paying lyrical homage to the lifestyle that got him locked down inside that imposing big house, located at the dead end of Boulevard, in the first place. From the sounds of 431 Days, Trouble's still knee-deep, sometimes even wallowing in it. Figuratively-speaking, of course. He's certainly more interested in conveying his pain than gaining entry to Atlanta's bottle-poppin', celebrity trap-star set. He saves little room for pop radio fodder, even when acquiescing to an R&B hook, courtesy Verse Simmonds, on the down-ass-chick anthem "Would You?" And on the FKi-produced track custom-built for him to ball out — "Hustle & Ambition" ft. Gucci Mane — he talks about his preference for women who value good credit over Gucci shoes. This isn't fantasy rap; it's theme music for soldiers still surviving the nightmare with a heavy heart and a sober outlook. Trouble is so obsessed with staying true — to his people, his environment, his word — it's hard to imagine how he's made it past 431 Days. The fact that he has may prove he's driven by something beyond the trappings of rap fame.
Indeed, his come-up is best summed up with a question posed by mixtape host Bigga Rankin: "This last 431 days, my nigga, you've been blessed with a burden. You got the whole mob depending on you, my nigga. How does that weigh on your soul, man? How does that weigh on your soul?"
Download at livemixtapes.com. Tracklist and videos below the jump:
Amen Dunes, This Will Destroy You, and Mountains play the Earl, tonight (Wed., Feb. 15). $12. 8:30 p.m. 488 Flat Shoals Ave. 404-522-3950.
Written by: Kevin Crawford
Photography by: Nikki Hagemeyer
Twin Sister and opening touring band Ava Luna played a packed house at The Earl last Wednesday night. Judging by the crowd’s reception of both bands, it was another great night for the East Atlanta venue scene.
Ava Luna got things started, a large group of seven, combining everything from James Blake-esque vocals all the way to playful electronic noise. Relying heavily on synthesizers and a soulful three woman choir, Ava Luna captivated the attention of the audience with big R&B numbers such as “Clips” and “Past the Barbary”. The group seems to be not only a throwback to the old school crooners, but also invigorates a new unique sound in the electro genre as well. Ava Luna leaves the crowd begging for more.
At around the 11:05 P.M. mark, the members of Twin Sister finally rush the stage, and start things off with some of their big time hits, including notable single “Bad Street” off their debut LP In Heaven. The Atlanta crowd is mesmerized by the killer guitar work of Eric Cardona, pulling the crowd into a dream-like frenzy with songs such as “Lady Daydream” and “Daniel”.
What sets Twin Sister apart as a live act is their ability to constantly adapt, changing how each of their songs sounds, shedding new light on their catalog every time they perform. For instance, on the big dance number “All Around and Away We Go”, vocalist Estella and bass player Gabe play off one another’s talents in perfect unison, as keyboardist Dev Gupta and drummer Bryan Ujueta provide the incredible background melodies.
The atmospheric touches are the little things that Twin Sister utilizes all too well, making them one of the most distinct up and coming bands in the indie scene to date. One moment they are playing off the crowd’s energy and building up a jam session, then the next they are making ambient soundscapes putting everyone in a calm trance. After a stunning performance, they came back to the stage for one more track entitled “Milk & Honey”, leaving the members of the Atlanta audience with something to remember for a long time to come.
There was even a turntable set up for able-hands to scratch along with whoever was onstage performing, while a rotating cast of knob-twiddlers and button-mashers, including Time Wharp, Floyd da Locsmif, P Villa, Rekchampa and several others took turns throughout the night, mixing and nodding heads along to the rhythms. Not much of a show on stage, but a definite blast to the brain as a series of vague projections scurried across the back wall, adding yet another layer of texture to the experience.
Naturally, it was a cool, creative scene that was meant to foster an over-all experience and community situation. Ever heard of LA's Low End Theory club night? Left Field is sort of the same idea, and the next one is happening at 529 on Wed., Jan. 25. The lineup is still coming together, but heRobust, Ethereal and the Kill Fist are already on the schedule.
Follow the jump for more photos.
Killin it. So damn sexy
ooooohhhh, I'm so excited!! I can't wait to see them together!
come on man you know you got a bromance. you probably still rock that OutKast…
Yes, 14 is the correct answer. I'll pass your info along to the group's manager,…