Plies – Definition Of Reality

I want to believe that Hip Hop/Thug Rap does still exist in it’s entirety of unique complex rhythms, clever lyrics and a whole bunch of street bad ass attitude. Plies album – ‘Definition of real’, is an acquired taste, with laid back beats and chilled out vocals.

I wish I could go back back to the days of D12, DMX, 50 Cent, they were good times, tracks like ‘In Da Club’ (50 Cent) were incredibly popular back then, but I fear no clubs will be playing Plies attempt at a hit record.

Don’t get me wrong, 200,000 copies sold in the first week of release and with two gold albums under his belt, Plies is obviously doing a good job, but I can’t help thinking where is the progression in this genre?

This record is Gangster/Thug rap, expectations of violence, abuse, money, and bad attitude are required, this album doesn’t fail to provide these contraband. With tracks like ‘Dat B**ch’, ‘Bushes’ and ‘S**t Bag’ fulfilling these expectations.

The track for me that stands out the most, I hate to say is track 6, Somebody (Loves You). It features a beautiful vocal sample/music by Soul/Gospel singer Patti LaBelle. Track 11 – Bust It Baby (Part 2) – (featuring Ne-Yo) also features music sampled from Janet Jackson’s love ballad ‘Come Back To Me’. ‘Watch Dis’ (Track 8), on listening over and over again gets into your head, with a Vocoder effect on the voice making it really cool.

The album overall seems roughly made, rushed in a way, no real outstanding music or lyrics. A typical, non-diverse rap record. Maybe for the masses of Hooded youths blasting songs out of very expensive mobile phones causing havoc on our streets. Each track simply makes you want to skip to the next track, then the next track until you find yourself right at the beginning again.

‘Who Hotter than Me’ …..erm sorry Plies, but a lot of other artists are!

Tracks to listen to:
6. Somebody (Loves You)
8. Watch Dis
11. Bust It Baby (Part 2) – (featuring Ne-Yo)
15. #1 Fan – (featuring J. Holiday/Keyshia Cole)

For fans of: T-Pain, Ne-Yo, Jamie Foxx etc

Deaf Havana – It’s called the easy life

There aren’t many bands with this brand of weird timing and de-tuned sounding riffs at the moment in the UK, but even if there were, Deaf Havana would still be at the top of their league.

Mixing brutal riffs with a very light pop-style voice on occasions makes the EP of high interest to me. Opener ‘This afternoon was a total disaster’ is a nice heavy start and 43 seconds into the track is where my interest is drawn – a very “Every Time I Die” style riff is introduced and has my head fully rocking.

The whole EP has a similar feel to it, with a slight mix of ‘Underoath’ mixed in there for good measure. Track 3 is the next prominent track; a very promising song and I can imagine how energetic this would sound live, but yet again, parts of the song are starting to sound a little too similar to “Every Time I Die”. This is when I ask myself the question “Is this really such a bad thing??”

The next track ‘The tune of ID’ show’s a very different side to the band, opening with a mellow and crisp sounding guitar tone and smooth flowing vocals (a lot like Incubus) before kicking in with a nicely timed and executed heaviness. Two and a half minutes in the song goes back to its roots before vocals of James and Ryan suddenly break through, with enough emotion to make your hair stand on end.

The 5th track (out of 6) ‘Love by the riverside’ is a short one, however it is also the most energetic yet; with a guitar riff so long and powerfully unique, it just proves that this band really know what they’re doing. The final track ‘ Oh Howard, you crack me up’ is my personal favourite. It’s clearly the strongest on the EP, and the vocals provide an epic atmosphere. This is definitely a song that Deaf Havana should release as a single.

The only problem with this EP is the fact that is only an EP. These songs are too powerful and of a high quality to not be part of a full length album. It’s a shame there isn’t much of a demand for this style of music in the UK, as I am convinced that if there were, these guys would be massive.