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MELLO MUSIC

Quelle Chris X Chris Keys

Innocent Country

    Quelle Chris has recorded with plenty of producers but his bond with Chris Keys extends beyond music. After linking through mutual collaborator Roc Marciano, the two Chris’ became fast friends. About four years worth of hang-out sessions, bong hits, video games and take-out food culminated in 2Dirt4TV3: Innocent Country, a deceptively subtle character study of self disguised as an excellent piece of stoner headnod hip-hop.

    Throughout the 33 minutes that comprise Innocent Country, our two protagonists are in synch like a pair of Jaeger pilots. Though the LP certainly has instances of energy and aggression, “Madness In The Oasis” and “Where The Wild Things Roam” are two, more often than not it lives within introspective mid-tempo moments like the languid “Nothing Moves.” Quelle is the wayward MC waxing bittersweet on the reflective “Well Running Deep,” filling Chris Keys’ sweeping string samples with palpable nostalgia. Our peregrine rapper is the lowkey consummate artist, powerful enough to give a rousing performance on the moving “I Asked God,” then turn on a dime and nail the hilarious and self-effacing “Drugfest TooThousandToo.”

    Upon repeated listens, one might see that Innocent Country speaks to the blissful naivete of youth. It’s the soundtrack to self-medication as an escape from reality, but it doesn’t jump ship before the inevitable moment of clarity. Innocent Country is a party, but it’s also the morning after and the day before. A sweet experience on the surface, this is therapy billed as reefer night at your man’s spot.


    Apollo Brown's made quite the impact here at Piccadilly this year, and tops off a wonderful year with this album together with Joell Ortiz - a New York rapper formerly signed to Dre's Aftermath and one quarter of the supergroup Slaughterhouse.

    Fans of Brown's traditional, MPC-based production should be familiar with his infectious hooks and boom-bap beats by now; and the smattering of grooves and hooks is unquestionably high. Ortiz delivers complex, full bars without fuss and follows the great NY heritage of catchy choruses and succinct rhymes.

    If you've enjoyed AB's collaborations with Ugly Heroes and Locksmith, then you're most certainly gonna get down to this. It also serves addition to Joell Ortiz's explosive catalogue. Most recommended. 


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Matt says: Another great rapper combines with Apollo Brown's deft and magical production for a quality album of OG boom-bap business, topping off another great year for Mello and this Detroit superstar.

    Ghostface Killah & Apollo Brown

    The Brown Tape

      Narrated by The RZA, this is Ghostface Killah’s brutal tale of gangsters, betrayal and one vengeful soul hunting the 12 most powerful crime lords in the World. The Deluca's pressed Tony's remains into 12 vinyl records - one for each member of the family. But little did they know - he would return... This project is a daring, full-length Crime/Horror concept album. Executive Producer, and Ghostface Killah's longtime Wu-Tang Clan collaborator, The RZA refers to the album as "groundbreaking" in the hip hop genre. Apollo Brown was asked to record an alternate album at the same time as Adrian Younge created “Twelve Reasons To Die.” Keep in mind, the legendary Detroit producer (Apollo Brown) was given access to Ghostface Killah’s recordings and constructed beats around GFK's work. This made the project one of the producer's most challenging projects to date. That hard work has paid of as “The Brown Tape” is also one of the best albums to date from Ghostface Killah or Apollo Brown. Cinematic and nasty, this is Hip-hop at it’s most raw. Cover Art by David Murdoch

      Produced by Detroit legend Apollo Brownvocals by Wu-Tang Clan's Ghostface Killahfeaturing Wu-Tang Clan members Inspectah Deck, Cappadonna, Masta Killa and more

      Oddisee

      The Iceberg

        The prolific MC, producer and musician Oddisee’s new album ‘The Iceberg’ is a plea for humanity to dig deeper in search of understanding and common ground. ‘The Iceberg’ is a distillation of stereotypical tropes in hip-hop and beyond, 12 tracks about money, sex, politics, race and religion that appear superficial until his multi-dimensional lyrics unfurl to expose the complexities of individuality and identity; how we see ourselves and how others see us. Deeply soulful, and shot through with jazz, Go-go, gospel, thick R&B and hard beats, the album is a timely, poetic statement. Oddisee has released two studio albums, several EP’s, mixtapes, and instrumental albums, and has over 30 million plays on Spotify. He’s been profiled by NPR, the Washington Post, praised by Pitchfork and Stereogum, performed on NPR’s Tiny Desk, Red Bull Sound Select, and at festivals including Glastonbury and Sasquatch. ‘The Iceberg’ follows two releases in 2016, the ‘Alwasta EP’ and the instrumentals album ‘The Odd Tape.’


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