Quiet times (By Redeem)
January arrives and with it, not much music. So, it is the perfect time to hunt for that ‘always-evading’ album or experiment with some new shit. I managed to do both, picking up the Beastie’s ‘Anthology’ and a Gareth Bowen & Tricky LP, called ‘Product Of The Environment’.
I was never a mad Beastie fan, but I appreciate artists that evolve or just choose to experiment. I’m not really one for the whole ‘gee-tar’ sound, so some of their ‘rock’ tracks don’t get much spin from me. But there are definitely some solid joints on there, as you’d expect. A mixture of basic rap music and also some funky shit that would get Hitler movin’ again, oh wait, his dead body was never found was it? Their experimental efforts are definitely nice, but as I said already, heavy guitar riffs will spoil it for me most of the time. I remember buying ‘ ill Communication ‘ and was damned surprised by how much ‘rock’ there was involved. But I love original music, so any group that does their own thing regardless of what community they are in, I respect. Why do these white boys always have to have a ‘fuck U’ attitude though? heheh. But with the Beastie’s it an attitude basically saying we don’t give a fuck what people think of us, we just gonna do whatever music we feel like doing. That is what I respect. But even their wildest experimental shit couldn’t even touch the other artist I mentioned above.
‘Product Of The Environment’, produced by Tricky is another world entirely. A place that not many people wanna hear about, I’m not one of them. This is originality at one of its highest forms. The concept is centered on British Gangster culture (Note to kids: I spelt Gangster the way it is meant to be spelt, yes, there is a difference). This is real; no fake shit involved, told from the dead horse’s mouth. No talk of hoe’s, crystal, rollies etc, all that tired crap. Tricky has brought together some of Britain’s ‘finest’ gangsters to record their stories and add them to hiphop, drum&bass and triphop beats. It works. They are NOT rhyming, just simply telling tales of all kinds about the underworld and how it was back then. Tony Guest, Freddie Foreman and ‘Mad’ Frankie Fraser, line up amongst another eight speakers of various backgrounds. If you love old gangster flicks, you’d feel this, especially if your interest was in England’s own gangster community.
Apart from lyrics, the quality I most look for in any artist, is originality. Give me something I’m not likely to hear again elsewhere. ‘Product Of The Environment’ provides that no question, the strange thing is, it’s actually ‘refreshing’ to listen to actual ‘crime-stories’, rather then bravado tales more common in hiphop. To some this may seem strange to actually pay money to listen to this, condoning and for someone, making a profit from crime, but some of the things they mention make you understand more where they are coming from and their environment. As I write this, Godfather II is on cable, that’s practically the same thing right there. It’s released on the ‘Durban Poison’ label and if you want more info, then peep this link: www.trickyonline.com. Word is, they are thinking about doing another ‘Product…’ but this time with famous boxers. Not sure if this would work as well as this one but it should be an interesting listen.
Until next rhyme.
Spread the Word,