Review: Masai – Almost Home

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While listening to the 15 tracks that make up Almost Home you are getting to know the artist behind the music as if he’s there sitting next to you on a park bench, casually bearing his soul to you, while also making you laugh and carefully listening to what you have to say. That’s Masai, as I’ve come to know him.

For some unfortunate reason, such a personable artist-and-listener interaction and consequential intimate relationship feels rare in today’s music scene, in both local and international examples. In this particular release, emcee and writer Masai created an album that in theory, is all about him, his life and his experiences, and in its outcome, it is actually not only about him, his life and his experiences. He takes small details and turns the focus on the larger picture, all with the collaborative help of over a dozen reinforcements.

Almost Home joins releases Almost Gone (2007) and Almost Back (2010), bringing Masai’s trilogy of solo albums full-circle. The release date of Almost Home, today, February 13, 2013, marks the one-year anniversary of the passing of his mother and serves as a tribute to her life. The album overcomes hardships and grief, displaying strength, honesty, perspective, growth and depth, which are core themes of hip-hop and life, in and of itself.

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KC’s Music Monday: “Eric” by Giant Gorilla Dog Thing

Considering the fact that summer is officially just around the corner, I’m already late to the party for spring cleaning and have ran out of excuses for letting this assortment of tasty local music collect any more dust in my email inbox. Enjoy.

Forming in 2010 by a bunch of friends who have an interest and talent in the rap genre, Pig Food Records is a DIY collective that is doing their own thing and doing it properly. The Pig Food Recs roster is stocked with quite the crew, all locally-based and all busy with on-deck projects, upcoming shows, videos, podcasts, freshly-stocked merch.

The featured mixtape in question, Eric, comes from local duo, Giant Gorilla Dog Thing (comprised of Dez and Dood Computer) over at Pig Food Records. The dudes put together this teaser mixtape to satisfy the heads while they work on their forthcoming album. “H.O.R.S.E.”, which is due out later this summer. The album is almost entirely produced by Albany’s own Brendan “Absolute” Paulsen and the troublemakers are currently putting the finishing touches on it. The album will also feature artwork by Adam Hathorn and surprise guest spots. Dez described it as “100% delicious Albany dickhead rap.”

Sign me up. And in the meantime, you can check out Eric for free over on their website.

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