Saturday, February 2, 2008

The Troublemakers intend to resurrect Hip Hop

What makes a record stand out? Usually it's the beats or rhymes that the producer and emcee respectively created, but sometimes a producer and emcee combine together and deliver an album, the type of record rappers are rarely known for. Perhaps it's because rappers don't do entire albums with one beat maker or maybe it's just because rap today has become a land of club singles and ring tones.

Whatever it is, Breez Evahflowin and Dirt E. Dutch have combined to form Troublemakers and if their self-titled first effort is any indication, they intend to cause even more problems for an industry that is already in trouble.

Knowing little about producer Dirt E. Dutch, his style is reminiscent of an era of classic producers utilizing drums that knock and samples that any good crate digger would be remiss not to add to his list of records to look for.

The rhyming half of Troublemakers, Breez Evahflowin, has been a staple of the NY underground for years as both a solo emcee and member of the unbeatable – and missing in action – collective Stronghold. Probably better known for guest verses and a 12-inch or two, here we get to finally see Breez stretch out and try some different styles and really show us why he hasn't given up on a career in this crazy industry: dude has skills.

Attacking the industry and those who challenge hip-hop's relevancy on "No Room for Growth," we see Breez team up with L.I.F.E. Long. The two emcees' chemistry is perfect and rather than it feeling like a competition of who can spit harder, it feels more natural and they try to build off each other.

Throughout the record, Dutch splices in audio clips from, I'm assuming, a combination of films, TV shows and records. These audio clips add to the content of Breez's rhymes and make it feel like a cohesive set of tracks rather than 12 random songs.

This album will satisfy that desire for some banging hip-hop while we wait for the industry to get back in gear and deliver some heat but, unfortunately, it may get forgotten by the end of 2008, and that would be a shame. Do what you have to to find this project, if for no other reason than to hear one emcee and one producer rock together in the vein of that traditional hip-hop sound.
Originally posted here on February 1st, 2008

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