Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Restoring Vision - featuring En Stereo and One Eyed Kings

Years of hard work and diligent study elevated me to the top of my chosen profession.  My contributions to the field of medicine have been recognized with several prestigious awards, and my peers have showered me with accolades.  These honors have pushed me ever onward and upward in my quest to make the world a better place.  As any person regardless of profession will tell you however, the greatest honor one can receive is when someone in a position of power puts their trust in your abilities.  With that in mind you can imagine how I felt when I was asked to operate on not one, but two Kings.

Yes, two Kings!  From two different island nations!  Easter Island and Atlantis to be exact.  Important trade negotiations between these two countries had broken down over the lack of vision displayed on both sides of the negotiating table.  I mean this both figuratively and literally.  Despite being from two completely different countries and sharing no common ancestor, these two Kings suffered from the same ocular impairment.  Both of them were born with the ability to see out of only one eye.  With no real depth perception, the Kings were unable to see the logic behind some of their advisors’ more outlandish solutions.  That’s where I came in.

Luckily the trade negotiations were being held in Dallas, Texas (roughly the midway point between the two islands) where my primary office is located.  The 24-hour news cycle had kept me well informed about the trade impasse.  I called in a favor from an influential friend that allowed me to speak directly to the two Kings at the same time.  Once I was in front of them I laid out exactly how I could better their lives.  They were very apprehensive about my proposal initially.  Who could blame them?  What I proposed was an experimental surgery after all, but the potential reward was too fantastic to pass up.  Two days later, within hours of each other, I performed the complicated surgery on both Kings.

Thankfully both surgeries were completely successful.  Utilizing brand new techniques and technology, I had restored full vision to each man.  Seeing in stereo for the first time allowed both Kings to see the world in a whole new way.  The problems that seemed insurmountable before were revealed to be inconsequential, and the trade talks quickly came to an amicable conclusion.  Stone statues and arcane artifacts flowed freely from one country to the other with no tariffs or embargos to complicate matters.  The world was indeed a better place.

En Stereo - S/T

Coming to you from the hip-hop capital of the world, Denver, Colorado, I give you the dynamite group En Stereo.  Okay, maybe quality hip-hop music is not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Denver.  Well waveriders after listening to this album not only will you eagerly make that association, but you will also wonder what else Denver is hiding.  The city’s a mile above sea level after all.  That’s really high!  Anything could be up there!?  Right…back to the music.

As I alluded to earlier, En Stereo is made up of two talented individuals.  The song production and turntable manipulations are handled by Es Nine, and the vocals are deftly performed by Mane Rok.  This group is all about the classic boom bap flavor of hip hop.  That means they stick to the tried and true formula of hard, funky drum beats that propel the tight rhyming laid over top of them.  And you know what?  It’s captivating!  Everything sounds fantastic!  Es Nine, who has been making music since at least 1997, puts on a clinic with every one of these songs.  Skilled veteran status validated.  The vocal side of the equation is no slouch either.  Want a lyric sample?  Sure thing!  This is Mane Rok’s first verse from the song “The Essence”. 

Maybe it's me and I'm making believe / With high expectations of the way it should be /
Not that I live in the past just recognize it's gift / It's the foundation to move forward can't set aside this shit / I'm that born again BBoy baptized by Boom Bap / Developed skill unlike rap guys all who lack / Talent, cadence-control- found the way they should go/
Misleading marketing schemes / Out to take all your dough / I could dumb it down too but want more for folks / Not tryna sound like a smartass God only knows / Need that feeling back raiding records stores on Tuesdays / Reading liner notes like they bible quotes while loops play / Drums bang flows fresh-argue who’s dopest / Contents under pressures when you mark up the moments / Get up when they got down-If ya check what's hot now / Cold carcass of an artist who bargained for a pop sound....

I don’t think I have to add anything else, do I?  Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go listen to this top-notch album again.  I suggest you do the same.

Listen and Buy Here - 

One Eyed Kings - In The Land Of The Blind EP

Waveriders, sometimes you need to listen to something filled with righteous indignation.  If you’re like me you need this anger to be focused on something meaningful.  You need to hear that anger artfully expressed in an intelligent manner that makes you sit down and evaluate your personal values and beliefs.  Randomized, gratuitous violence doesn’t cut it.  Not for a moment.  You need something highly polemical…something like One Eyed Kings’ EP In The Land Of The Blind.

One Eyed Kings shares a couple of similarities with the group we just discussed, En Stereo.  This is a two man operation (the dynamic duo of producer Mr. Bostic and lyricist Bravo One) and they call Denver, Colorado home (what, you thought I was joking about Denver?).  The music is wonderfully organic, filled with samples of pianos and strings of all kinds.  Mr. Bostic uses this instrumentation to create exactly the right type of atmosphere on each song, one of sorrowful determination.  I apologize waveriders if that description doesn’t make sense.  It’s the best I can do.  The vocals are also very impressive.  Bravo One has a rock solid, confident lyrical flow.  His voice has just the right amount of aggression behind it, and impressively he doesn’t rely on profanities to get his points across.  Very nice indeed!

In The Land Of The Blind was originally released on December 7, 2010.  Therefore it makes perfect sense that the introduction is a choice snippet from FDR’s ‘Day of Infamy’ speech.  Once the introduction is out of the way the listener moves on to the four full-bodied songs on offer.  “Distortion” scathingly blasts conservative corporate media.  “All Roads Lead Home” featuring Hasan Salaam is a sober analysis of each emcee’s journey as they try to reach a state of contentment.  “The Ghetto” as you might have guessed explores the trying conditions facing the poor in the United States.  Lastly, “Say Something” featuring Rhias and Purpose, is a rousing call to arms demanding that people stand up against social injustices.

All in all, this is a tremendously entertaining EP.  If you’re looking to add some meaningful hip hop to your musical diet, look no further than One Eyed Kings.  Not only is their music good, it’s also free of charge.  That’s right, this EP is free!  Get to their bandcamp page and start downloading.  That’s an order.


Listen and Download Here -

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