featured REVIEW


Tanya Morgan Moonlighting Loud Minority • 2006

This really brings us back to the days when Mood and Hi-Tek put Cincinnati on the map. A new generation of talented acts seem to have taken over to rep the rap scene. A few weeks ago, we were pleasently surprised by the Brickbeats & Jermiside project and ahoy, here’s the rap group with the name of a fictious soulstress. But wait a minute...what did we say? Brickbeats and Jermiside? Yeah, and both of them are featured on this effort; the first produced six tracks while Jermiside features on 'Paper Thin', also a Brickbeats production (listen to the sped-up, hypnotical production that can be compared with Brick & Jerm’s 'Beautiful Day') with a MC Lyte sample creatively integrated in the chorus. (Von Pea even quotes: 'MC Lyte might sue us')

Without a doubt one of the album’s bangers and also their latest single is 'We Be', with an aching soul sample and the three emcees really formin a compact whole ('All I really wanna do is get a chick from Myspace, to freak off on the first day like Blind Date'), even the video to this song is another piece of Myspace advertising, inspired on the networking concept. Funny fresh is 'Ode To Tanya', where each member got the hots for the same (fictious) girl. Grimey and mid 90s boombap is 'We Right Here' with the group really settin their mark on the game 'We ain’t goin nowhere...pack yo bags we goin on a first class trip to nowhere!'. The punchlines are holdin messages and poignant humour at the same time. In 'The Warm-Up' it goes: 'I got stuck in the snow, should’ve heard it, but I never listen to the radio' and 'Just Cause I got Locks', is a fun take on thinking in stereotypes 'Just caus I got dreads don’t mean that I got marihuana'. Then again, the humour of 'Rough U Up' escapes us, because the Lil Jon kind-of beat just goes one step too far in mocking with that kind of music, whether it’s for a laugh or not, it stays a burden to listen to this kind of music anyhow. Concepts are a recurrent phenomenon on this effort and even in between we’re confronted with an interpretation of Prince Paul’s legendary skits of De La Soul’s 'De La Soul Is Dead', where the tape goes from hand to hand of music fans and each and one of them givin their opinion on the record.

The concepts, eyewinks, irony and humour are impeccable, one thing you can’t accuse this group of is for not being creative. But not every song really reaches the level of some tracks that undoubtedly stand out ('We Be' a.o.). In the middle and towards the end of the record, it looses some of its earlier strenghth, and sounds less coherent. Neverhteless, Tanya Morgan’s sophomore release is another highlight for Cincinnati and its rap scene. Von Pea, Donwill and Illyas have clearly evolved as a group and are here to moonlight for the next few years.

POSTED ON 06|13|2006 by cpf

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