By Buck 65
An ex-baseball player, originally from Canada, now based in Paris and with 'Square', his first release for a major, maybe the pioneer of 'A.O.H' (that's 'adult orientated hip hop(c)' to you and me).
A strange set up, due to the lack of track listings. This album is instead cut into quarters, four blocks of songs named 'Squares 1 - 4', full of ever changing tunes.
Square 1 starts with some very impressive bursts of scratching, which kind of reminded me of the mighty 'KRS - ONE'. This comparison is quickly stripped away once the subtle grooves ooze in. Built around slow steady beats, there is an impressive array of loops, samples and so many other elements from other genres, be it an acoustic guitar, classical piano or film dialogue. This CD is unlike most hip-hop I have heard. Which shows Buck 65 to be a very impressive lyricist and musician. I think the only other artist of this scene I can think with any similarity is some old tunes by 'Latryx'.
A very laid back listen, with Buck 65 using a lazy rappin' style, with rhymes intelligently written and delivered. His press release names Tom Waits as a big influence, which is evident throughout. Very poetic, personal and an ear for a melody which draws the listener in.
This is not the sort of Hip Hop you are likely to hear in the clubs; that would be a waste. This is an album you can relax and really listen to. This is Hip Hop for the older generation and definitely worth a listen.