Monday, November 10, 2008

Add-2 "Tale of Two's City Vol. 2: Return of the Menace"

Sometimes I get behind and when that happens stuff like this gets lost. I don’t know anything about Add-2, and if you are new to the blog I like to get into who the artist is. I know he is from Chicago and that this is his second mixtape of the year (hence the Vol. 2 in the title) and he doesn’t appear to have any overt connection with any of the Chi-Town heavy hitters. But if this is derivative of what Add plans to bless the game with, I’m sure he will be lounging in their circle soon enough.

The first thing immediately apparent is that the kid can flow like few others. Riding beats much like fellow Chicago emcee Lupe Fiasco, Add-2 demonstrates multiple styles and speeds with smooth breath control and crystal pronunciation. He isn’t afraid to touch on serious topics relating to life on the streets, always delivering a clear picture of what it is he chose to speak on and the negatives that follow the intense highs the street can generate.

But besides this talk, we see Add get personal on “The Dating Game” as he breaks down the pitfalls we have all gone through in an effort to win the attention of the opposite sex. Done in a playful manner, this is a good demonstration of what 2 is about - real life issues that we all can relate to.

This “regular” life rap has been steadily gaining a foothold, thanks in large part to Little Brother but if it’s Add-2’s steez he will be a worthy addition to the fold. He speaks to the frustration of addiction and the issues surrounding color in our society always in a down to earth tone that conveys consideration for both sides of the topic, pushing the provocation of thought over a certain line of thinking.

While he is busy breaking it down for us, he was blessed with a number of crisp beats from an assortment of, mostly unknown, beatmakers. The ARE continue to impress with monster bangers with “Project 94” being a thumping track that you have to turn up and Prolyfic (Lupe, I believe?) comes through with a great track complete with hard drums, rock inspired guitar chords and even a hawk’s scream for added emphasis – they are being serious on “Pride.”

Elsewhere we see Jonathan P create the hardest knocker on the album and Slot-A, who also shows up for a couple verses, deliver some vintage laid back breezy goodness. Somewhere between Pete Rock and J Dilla, dude isn’t fucking around lacing Add-2 with some brilliant compositions that beg for you to kick back and chill.

Add also tackles two released beats, turning the Roots “75 Bars” into his own deconstruction to incredible results, if you thought Thought bodied the beat wait to you hear 2! He also picks up Young Bucks “Get Buck” to not quite so satisfying results. While still impressive behind the mic, the beat is one of Buck’s weaker selections and just doesn’t give an emcee much to work with. He handles his own, but I think he should have left it alone.

But these lows are rare on Tale of Two’s City and overall you are introduced to a young emcee who has two things never to be ignored: Skill behind the mic and an ear for beats.

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