Monday, October 20, 2008

Ced Hughes "What Up Tho?!"


Awhile ago I burned a grip of mixtapes from an assortment of these new “internet” emcees. I call them this because the only reason they are known anywhere out of their locality is because they’ve gotten the bloggers going nuts! After having more than enough time to listen and break down these albums I got some things to say about them and the artists responsible for them.

First up for your consideration is Ced Hughes. With a vocal tone and playful demeanor on the mic he reminds me of Kanye at times, but his influence plays into many of the new acts popping up these days. Ced leads the pack however with his tape being mixed by Kanye’s right hand man Plain Pat – perhaps the kid has an actual connection Mr. West?

As for the album, What Up Tho?! expect some new ideas and some smooth flows from Ced. He has good presence on the mic and can tell a story well. His track “The Virus” is probably as responsible for his internet hype as anything else he might have going for him, on which he crafts an audio virus that he wants to infect every blog he can find. Shouting out all the usual suspects (where’s the TML yo? One day...) over a grimy synthesized beat this tracks energy is enough to get anyone ready to party.

This energy is not unusual here however as Ced is great at picking beats that knock and change up at key moments to keep the feel forward moving. He teams up with Currensy on “Calm Down” with both spitting well, Currensy proves his worth here doing a far better job of drawing you into his rhymes leaving you wondering who took the first verse.

Perhaps the best demonstration of Ced’s skill is found on “Blame it On Ced” over the perfect beat he breaks down where he sees himself in this game with a great hook from an un-credited singer whose vocals create the perfect harmony with the beat. The laidback atmosphere continues as Ced and Novel turn “American Boy” into “Southern Boy” breaking down the pride they have for their region.

Ced isn’t a weak rapper; he has potential and will probably manage to put out a steady stream of consistent work for the next several years as long as he can capitalize on whatever hype he generates here. Unfortunately, as what seems to be the case with so many of these blog friendly rappers, the hype disappears the moment the album is out. If you missed this tape when it dropped check it out and get familiar with a sampling of the future.

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