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Denizen Kane Tree City Legends vol II Galapagos4 • 2005

It is often so that hip-hop artists do not dare or even can’t display additional skills next to the actual rappin. They're scared for the reactions of their fans, managers or fellow rappers and ignore to stay true to their own and what they really like to do. Not so with Denizen Kane, Tree City dweller, rapper of the group Typical Cats, spoken word artist, but most of all a poet who's able to twist the English vocab and flip it in an artistic grammar.

On this second instalment of the Tree City Legends series, which took him a year and a half to complete, Denizen Kane mostly raps but also recites and even sings. 'When I See Him' is nothing but an acoustic guitar and the Tree City Citizen singin a bluesy piece of melancholy. 'Amerika Dub' is a reactionary track of which the atmosphere comes close to a Gil Scott Heron protest song and where Avery R Young steals the show with his aching vocals and -at times- gospel approach. More political awareness is embedded in 'Patriot Act', of which the Kip Killagain beat is merely a guitar pluck supported by a thick bass line but at the same time soundin real rich. More quality beats are by the hands of Maker; the dusty jazz of the opener 'Killa Killa', the raw, piano-dominated 'Junie's Song' and the boombap of 'Another Life'. The production matches nicely with Kane's low, raspy voice and his slow, almost hypnotizing flow; for example the mellow strings of 'Lost', a monumental memento, and the mystic voice loop, sloppy percussion and lovely guitar outro on 'Rising Son'.

It is often so that hip-hop artists do not have a style of their own, they sound too much like someone else because they rather stick to traditional hip-hop and ignore to innovate. Not so with Denizen Kane, not only his voice is unique but also his imagery and the guts he has to switch unto singin or spoken word. This is refreshing music with figurative language and a provocative content, to be savoured now and in the future, because Tree City Legends Never Die.

POSTED ON 12|15|2005 by cpf

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