featured REVIEW


Big Tone The Drought ABB • 2005

With rhyme and reason, Detroit is one of today's hip-hop capitals. Acts like BR Gunna, Lacks, Que D (remember?), Phat Kat, Frank N Dank and recently, Lawless Element, have entered the footsteps of Jay Dee and Slum Village and contributed to the glorious scene of the Motorcity. This time around, it's Big Tone's turn.

Being a member of Wasted Youth, having featured on Jay Dee's 'Welcome To Detroit' ('It's Like That') and collaborated with Slum Village, Lacks and Dwele, Big Tone is not a stranger to that genuine Detroit flava. In 'Watch Me', he introduces himself with clever, humorous lines 'Bounce over kicks like Jack Chan on the Tascam' and a nonchalant flow over slow rollin drums and a hailing soul sample in the chorus. Big Tone produced every cut on this LP and it's remarkable how he stays so innovative and fresh, without transcending the 'laws of Detroit hip-hop', 'My b-boy stance is Detroit branded', he raps. Where 'Come My Way' and 'One Hour Session' (with an Elzhi-type-of-flow) sounds very Slum Village lyrically as well as musically, tracks like the soulful and melancholic 'Good Ole Days', the lovely 'It's So Hard’ –oooo weee!- and the uplifting 'Peace' all have a particular sound that betray a unique sound, well reflecting the optimistic mood on this album; 'This is feel-good music, man!' he shouts in 'Real Life'. Disadvantages in life are considered part of the game, the only good thing is to keep goin for yours. Electrifying tracks are altered with easy, smooth joints like 'Get Up', 'Girl', 'Turn Up My World' and 'What’s Up – Intimacy' featuring Dwele, mostly dealing with love and charachterized by keyboard samples, smooth drums and a touch of R&B.

Big Tone’s debut full length (in 1996 he made an EP called 'Ear Candy') shows that the Detroit underground is packed with talent who manage to hold their own style without betraying the ways of the D or as Big Tone rhymes: 'It’s like I’m writing with my city inside my pen'. 'The Drought' is for people who are thirsty for that real Detroit sound. Solid drums, kicks, fat snares and soulful samples with a touch of R&B, it seems like summer heat ain't over yet!

POSTED ON 10|19|2005 by cpf

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