Tuesday, July 15, 2014

CASSETTE REVIEW: Ill Clinton “Raer” (Us Natives)

            One of the first things I like to do after or while listening to music that I’m reviewing is search for the link to where it can be obtained and if it was only a physical release that is sold out I like to at least put up a link to send people as sort of a dead end.   (Apologies)  With this cassette by Ill Clinton, I can find several links to it via google, but none of them clearly state how to get this cassette.  (Though one was a Twitter post that someone made after receiving the cassette from Mr. Clinton)

            The fact that I don’t really know how to get this—or how to tell you how to get this—other than hoping that if maybe you buy another Ill Clinton cassette that isn’t yet sold out (Or an Us Natives shirt [cheap plug]) or ask him nicely enough about it, if it even is still available—well it just somehow makes me like it that much more.  

            As you would expect from Ill Clinton, these are beats, sure, but you have to hand it to him because this is his- I believe- fifth cassette I have and I know he has others out there, yet he somehow remains fresh and they never have the more of the same feel that some artists get after two songs.

            This begins sort of dark and determined.  There are these guitar riffs I can only compare to 311 because I don’t listen to a lot of other music that sounds like 311 and they flow with cymbals.   It begins to channel James Brown and, owwww, I feel good.   Grinding synth somehow  joins in with the beats and Side A doesn’t have an exclusively “Block Rockin’ Beats” sound to it, but it is rather close.

            Side B gets a little bit funkier, as it takes a turn toward the R&B side of things, bringing out loops of one of my favorites, Us3.   It’s kind of strange because when you think of music such as Ill Clinton makes that is for all intent and purposes simply summed up as hip hop, you kind of imagine it taking these twists and turns into R&B and all that.   That is to say, up until the end of this cassette it sounded to me how it should with no real surprises.

            By the end though, I found myself noting one of the influences as being Joy Division.   How did they manage to sneak in there, I haven’t a clue, but it somehow works and is just one of those elements that makes Ill Clinton so strong. 

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