Thursday, April 17, 2008

Bhon & Elaquent - Self I Am...

Word. Now you know that I would never recommend anything that is garbage, unless it was hot and steaming.

This is hot and steaming, but it's not garbage! It's "Self I Am" brought to you by Bhon & Elaquent. Now I have known eQ for at least a year and a half (seems like longer) and had the pleasure of metting him at Scarlem D's CD release party last July. I'll never forget the moment I saw this 6 foot something big black dude walk up in the spot and sit down, later on to realize that was Elaquent. Such a gentle, reserved soul trapped inside the body of a Patriots Linebacker. It was a sight to be seen. Back to the album.

Elaquent is one of those naturally gifted people when it comes to computers, music, and putting them together. He is completely self taught, and self inspired (being stuck in a dorm room most of the time). I don't know what it is about Guelph, but every god damn thing I hear coming from that city is retarded! Introspect being my first experience with this phenomena. Not too long ago eQ released his "In Colour" instrumental LP which was off the hook, and now which seems like 2 weeks later he has done it again with the collaborative genius of Bhon (Audio Ink) hailing from the sands of Nevada.

Man the internet is a beautiful thing...

Self I Am starts off with a sax infused, poetically driven intro featuring a piece written by Bhon on the "I am" topic. Cleverly arranged and great production choice from eQ. The ambiance walks through to the title track "Self I Am" which is a creative continuation of the introduction. Track by track this LP gets more dope with each word spit, and each kick dropped. Bhon's lyrics have matured since the first time I stumbled upon him on the net (via eQ) not to mention the recording quality of his delivery and takes. It's always comforting to hear emcee's progress, and bring the standards of quality beyond streaming and wma compression.

"Came a long way from West Indian sand and seas.." recites Solar C on the track "Worldwide". Solar C is another cat I stumbled upon randomly on Myspace, and we've had quite a few conversations on the phone just talking about life, music, and everything in between. Solar C is a beast on the mic, beats, and on the cuts and it was wise to bring his experience to the LP. I was waiting to hear some vocal arrangements and to my surprise the next track crept up with a melodic intro harmonized by songstress Shaunise.

The thing about this LP that I really like is the consistency carried throughout. Bhon dances up, down, and around the beats with his sharp, vibe-driven flow while eQ sits back and does what he does best. He is so steady it's not even funny. I'm not saying that he is limited with his beatmaking abilities, but more he is constant with his sound, choice of samples, and how he meshes them together. The bass is always prominent ("Steady Travellin" ridiculous bass!), there is always a swing factor with his tempo, and every single beat I have ever had the pleasure of hearing proves to satisfy the stereo range of my KRK's. I was about to reveal the sample in "Raise Up" and give kudos to a creative use of the track, but out of respect for eQ and all the rookies that don't know what I'm talking about, I will keep it to myself!

The album ends exactly how it started; Dope.

There is not much to be said except that if you think Hip Hop is dead, if you think the internet is a joke and that Myspace (to name one) is nothing but a community for social networking, spamming, and 15 year old whore's in training posting their untouched muffins up for every perv, pedophile, and politician to spank junk over, think again. Beneath all the hype, images of fame and fortune, corruption, and corrosion lies a community of creative creatures working, sweating, and grinding all in the name of utmost good faith. There are albums being released everyday from people who have never even met, collaborations coming together breaking borders and geographical stereotypes. Self I Am is a perfect example of this.

If you didn't notice the "Click For Free Download" text planted on the album cover above, please follow these instructions: Click On The Picture Above For A Free Download!




Euphonic said...

shouts to gill breathin and audio ink.. but blue you forgot to do a review on One from AI

MrBlue said...

I did you're right! But I've never talked to one, and didn't even know he was AI crew... all I know is Bhon!

Elaquent said...

patriots linebacker?!?! fuck the patriots! seahawks all day hahahaha

bigups on the review tho man....expect a review of Virgostratus once i get my computer back from the shop...