Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Whitman Speck - Suburban Hell

Hear The Track Here

So I've been grooving away to the kick ass hard core hiphop that is at the heart of Suburban Hell thinking what a great example of the genre it is. If you like hard core rapping with plenty of audio tricks, a blindingly tight rap and more swearwords than you can shake a stick at, this is the track to mug. Definitely one of the better examples of the genre I have heard this week, a concise punchy rhythm and a confident, swaggering, in-your-face-f*ck-off-and-die rapper at the steering wheel. All the time I had been playing it for review purposes, I was aware of it's slant towards serial killers (the name Whitman Speck is made up of the surnames of two such serial killers) and I automatically put that down to the American scene's high regard for such people.

When I started to write this review and actually saw this artist webpage, I couldn't believe what my eyes were telling me. Not only is Whitman Speck half Turkish and half English, he's a geezer in my own backyard. Yep, Whitman Speck is a Londoner innit? From the land of 'norf' and 'sarf', Whitman Speck brings such authority and conviction to his performance that I never once questioned my automatic assumption that this artist was an American; rapping about American experiences. Of course, the UK has its own serial killers, mad dogs and general ne'er do wells, and I should have twigged that with the Harold Shipman reference. It's to Whitman's eternal credit that nothing like that ever crossed my mind.

One of my own favourite hip hop periods was when outfits like A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul were top dog and it's De La Soul that the backing track owes the biggest favours to and that may have helped to sway my opinion further. Without doubt, however, the focal point here is the rap and the musical arrangment that sparks it up and marches it away. The rapper says that 'everyone compares him to Eminem' and it ticks him off'. To be sure, the lazy, immediate reference would indeed be ol' Blondie but if you knew anything about hiphop there are many other references that fit better. No matter, judging by this track, Whitman Speck is just asking to have his whole collection hoovered up for future reference.


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