featured REVIEW


Rich Medina Connecting The Dots Kindred Spirit • 2005

Philadelphian DJ/producer/spoken word artist and rapper Rich Medina aka Big Rich is a music animal with a soul drained in all types of music influences. He’s also the driving force behind Kindred Spirits USA, the American department of the Holland based music 'philosophy', known for its broad-minded approach on black music and hip-hop specifically. In 2003, Medina featured on fellow Philly inhabitant King Britt’s 'Adventures In Lo-FI', givin us a piece of his spoken word talent. In a way, 'Connecting The Dots' can be compared to 'Adventures In Lo-Fi', but less hip-hop orientated.

The album begins like Common’s 'Be' started; with a plain but groovy bass line, matching perfectly with the baritone voice of Rich, layin down spoken words of knowledge. And so starts a trip through different kinds of music, goin from hip-hop ('Soul Babies' with Jneiro Jarel, 'Official' with Jon Doe, 'B-Boys To Men'), soul ('Holdin Up', 'Music', 'Too Much'), lounge ('Out Of Nothing'), Afro drum ('Can’t Hold Back', 'Listen', 'Emancipation Suite') and spoken word ('Delirium', 'Weight' and 'Dedication'). The production is a combination of live instrumentation, complex arrangements and good ol’ drum machines. Lovely voices by the likes of Jesse James, Ginelle Summer and Michelle Shaprow (in the excellent 'Happiness') add some dazed-out, warm, fairytale vibes to the whole. In the rap theme 'B Boys To Men', Big Rich shows that he can kick a rap or two as well, but unluckily for us rap heads, he fails to do so once too many. None the less his writings are inspiring, poetical yet dealing with raw reality.

Disappointed with the lack of rap songs or not, the title says 'Connecting The Dots', so that’s what we get from Rich’s debut effort. A wide range of black music, showin Rich’s skills with the pen and polyvalence behind the production tools, displayin lyrical dexterity and arrangements that go beyond the average contemporary music album.

POSTED ON 12|13|2005 by cpf

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