Hear The Track Here
In all the years I have been reviewing like this I have never, until this moment, reviewed a 'mixtape', although I certainly got through my share of hip hop in general. Fact is, I have loved the genre since back in the day and followed it all the way to the hollow shell the commercial world is trying to foist on us. T'ain't hip hop I tell you, I call it by its true name - soulless lifeless shit. Hip hop isn't, and never has been, about treating women (actually ALL humans) as things to play with then discard. The hip hop I have been listening to over the past few years has been of a different quality, a fierce independence and the urge to do the right thing. Indie hip hop, then, is what I truly consider is closest to its beginnings, both in terms of ideas and content. So the burning question of the hour is what shade of this is Ramaj Eroc, a Chicago IL musician?
In tone certainly, the Parental Advisory is probably deserved, but in some ways that is also part of the original ethos so you know going in there is going to be a lot of cussing, but **** it eh? In case you have no idea what a mixtape is, it's a collection of tracks (a compilation) with a massive cast of characters all working to support the raps, in this case Ramaj Eroc - of which more later. By the time you are a handful of tracks into the mixtape it becomes obvious that Ramaj does hard and soft, treating with the respect it deserves, and if you like what you heard so far, check him. Well worth it if you do like hip hop that is smart and well put together. Mind you, remember that this is a mixtape and you'll time to take the whole thing in.
Musically the music is usually spare and minimalist which, you may argue, is what hip hop is all about, but I disagree. I've heard some very full blooded hip hop, muscular stuff and - to be fair - both of them work, but as always I have my preferences. Having had major exposure to Soundclick's hip hop rappers and musicians, it is a major frame of reference for me, and Ramaj Eroc is well up there with the best of them. Now, honestly, I wouldn't spend time with this mixtape outside the review process, but that's a personal taste thing and it's certainly not aimed at an old fart like me, but I can recognise the quality and sheer hard work involved in getting this bad boy together enough to pour down your earholes. If you are stuck for choice look for a track called Don't Say, very inventive...
Highly Recommended hip hop marathon.