Review: Sev Statik – Sophy EP

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Perhaps one of my favorite parts about listening to (and consequently supporting) music created in the 518 is the opportunity for intimacy as listener. Simply knowing that the music was created locally, from its inspiration to its conception to its recording process to its release, automatically makes it more appealing to me. It’s impossible to say but maybe I’m unlike other people or maybe I’m like every other listener in that regard. Simply, if I enjoy or connect with the music, I want to know more about the musician. And vice versa. That desire for curiosity happens less often for me in the mainstream music sphere and that’s why I place value and emphasis on focusing on discovering music on independent, underground and local levels.

It’s all subjective, of course, and that’s why a big part of me fights the urge every blog post to not simply say “Here’s music I recently found and here’s the download link. Listen.” Perhaps some people would prefer that method of writing about music but to me there’s value in spending more time crafting reviews and I hope at the very least, you do take a minute to listen.

A recent example comes from the latest release from hip hop artist Sev Statik. His EP, Sophy, is out today on Sub-Bombin Records and is available for free download. The EP is entirely produced by PJ Katz of Pig Food Records, features a track with Animal Cracker and cuts by J-Live. The EP is in advance of a full length record which will be released later this year. By the people, for the people.

Hit the jump to read my full review.

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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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