Wednesday, March 28, 2012

It's a Clear Soul Revolution(s)

The revolution will not be televised (RIP Gil Scott-Heron), there will be no mention of John Carter, Sara Carter, or Sky...oh wait, just a small mention of Skynet...but it will be bangin your eardrums courtesy of Clear Soul Forces (CSF) and their recently released debut album Detroit Revolution(s)Lemme give y'all some background. CSF is a foursome out of, where else, Detroit and made up of L.A.Z, J-Roc (aka Noveliss), E-Fav, and producer/emcee Ilajide. With one mixtape, an EP, a couple videos, a performance at Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival's Show and Prove Super Bowl *cough robbed cough* these dudes barely had time to relish the release of their first full length LP. You see the day before it dropped they were on a plane and set for a trip to SXSW to perform on the Red Bull Soundstage thanks to Dru Ha of Duck Down Music. They have come a long way from when I first saw them at BHF eight months ago.

It would be arduous, and extremely long winded, for me dissect Detroit Revolution(s) track by track so I'm gonna hit the high notes and leave the rest for you to discover on your own.  #REVO, as it's come to be known, is incredible listen. You will be ambushed throughout the 15 track LP by lyrics, on lyrics, on lyrics (no Kanye) and assaulted with slaps mostly courtesy of Ilajide (10 tracks) with the remainder filled in by Nameless, KanKick, and King Midas.                                                                         #REVO opens with "Detroit Revolution(s)", a call to order of sorts, to present the album Detroit Revolution(s) to the people and then followed immediately by "Welcome To The Show". This is just a mere introduction to the lyrical capabilities of all four emcees highlighted by lines like  L.A.Z's "we drop gems like clumsy jewelers" and Ilajide's "blade in my wrist like Assassins Creed". A nice welcome to for those that appreciate lyricism. Attempting to define each emcee is difficult because each bring a different flavor to the table and all are more that capable to carry a track at any time. 
In my very humble opinion, J-Roc is the more refined lyricist. I have yet to hear a J-Roc verse that I didn't like. "Half As Long//Twice As Nice", one of my favorites, opens with a verse from J-Roc. Remember that small mention of Skynet...yep it's right there a long with the line "they tell me 'break a leg'/I get on stage and become a paraplegic". Then later he spits "Only fall asleep to beats/take this instrumental Ambien"...fresh. Ilajide chimes in later in the record that his "shit is velociraptic"...and I couldn't describe him any better. Ilajide, to me, is the wild card of the group. J-Roc, E-Fav, and L.A.Z have a mostly smooth delivery throughout #REVO where Ilajide's voice is raspy and his delivery is choppy and hype like an ADHD kid off his Adderall. Reminds me of an old episode of BET's "Rap City: The Basement" where Pharoahe Monch was in the freestyle booth with Big Tig and caught an asthma attack. This is especially notable early on in #REVO on the track "Keep It Movin", later in "Ass To The Flo" and "Runnin".
"Gets No Better" is the first single from the group, for good reason, and was dropped in a dope little video. This joint may still be my favorite from the album. Maybe it's the beat (brought to you by KanKick) or maybe it's the witty punchlines like E-Fav's "...playin hookie while my paper double triple like LeBron as a rookie". It could be Ilajide's "who colder my shit is cryogenic" but then again it could also be L.A.Z's "It's only right that I get it in/got her mind open like she took the pill from Limitless". The most likely answer is all of the above all wrapped in one little 4:46 package.
E-Fav is that "old reliable" in the crew, in my opinion, always spitin smooth bars with occasional changes in cadence. When he does decide to change it up you get the opening verse to "Stack Yo Paypuh!!!" with a double time of sorts. He's the guys that you might miss but then think "damn, that was nice. Who was that?"...E-Fav.
L.A.Z can do it all, he can get hype, vary his cadence and flow, and then come back on the next track with a laid back easy verse. His verse on "The World Is Yours" is one of my favorites from him on the album when he spits "You probably try angles like an isosceles/We the reason people wakin up, the flow is coffee beans". I love the sample from Ilajide on this track...but it is killing me not to be able to place it. I know the song...but I feel like it's from a movie. Dammit, foiled again.
I can't even begin to describe "Catch Me If You Can". If it's lyrics you want/like then this joint is for you. I dig the part where L.A.Z takes shots..."Tryin to be the Mufasa of the pad penin/lyin if they sayin they lions/they Matt Millen". Anyone notice how the Lions got infinitely better after Millen was shitcanned?
Bottom line is this album is a dope debut and a good look for Clear Soul Forces. The word play is insane the beats are good...and at a "name your own price" on their Bandcamp there is no earthly reason, that I can think of anyway, why each and every one of y'all reading this should not have it bumpin through your speakers. After you pick it up, hit them at their Facebook and let them know how you feelin it.

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