Cadence – Creative Commerce

Happy Monday to you all. Thought I'd start the week by reviewing a new hip-hop album. It's by Cadence, one half of the group Raw Produce. Cadence is a producer/DJ/emcee from Massachusetts, he's been doing his thing since 1995 and released the album The Feeling of Now, by Raw Produce, in 2003. Now he is back, on his own, and has just recently released Creative Commerce on Domination Recordings.

For any hip-hop fans that have never heard of Raw Produce, or just haven't heard the album The Feeling of Now… what the hell are you playing at?! That was the album of 2003, so as you can imagine I was pretty excited to hear bout this new album from Cadence. Well, I wasn't disappointed at all. The Raw Produce album was extremely chilled and flowed so smoothly – this Cadence album has a lot of the qualities that could be heard on The Feeling of Now, but generally speaking it has a slightly more funkier edge.

Through a large part of the tracks on this album there is a real political and/or moral narrative in the lyrics, but it's not in a real in-your-face angsty manner, it's more of a rational this-is-how-it-is style. I'm not usually one to get particularly immersed in lyrics and their meanings, but a definite attraction to Cadence's rhymes is his story telling way of emceeing. He'll tell stories of a persons struggles in life or growing up, or suddenly switch to a quite political narrative, but his flow keeps it all at a nice level – I never at any point felt like I was getting some form of anti-propaganda shoved down my throat, it's all good. The actual theme for this record is based upon the record's title; Creative Commerce. Cadence tells of the struggle between progressing an art-form and making money – the fine line between the two.

The thing with this album is that upon first listen there wasn't one track that particularly stood out from the rest, but hold up, don't go thinking that's a bad thing! The whole album is solid, each of the 16 tracks is very strong – I never once felt like hitting the skip button, or got bored, it really is just a good solid album. Apart from Cadence's clever and smooth vocals, one constant in the music is the percussion. The beats are kicking it big style! But not in an ear-thrashing style, more understated than that, but in such a manner that the quality is easily apparent. There's also a lot of old skool style jazz instrument samples – plenty of brass, strings, and woodwind. It's a funky affair to be sure. Reminded me of an old authentic style, but produced in a modern way, total quality.

Pretty much all of the tracks are very laid back, and tracks such as Word Got Round and Month Of Sundays have quite a lounge feel to them. Then you have Let It Be and Louder that really kick it with those drums, the latter particularly reminded me of a DJ Shadow beat. A Curious Mind starts in such an Al Green ilk, so smooth, but take a minute to concentrate on the lyrics and the story is complete, Cadence's vocals and music (all written and produced by himself) are paired perfectly. His production is impressive, to say the least, it's a very complete record. Here's a taster of A Curious Mind…

Cadence – A Curious Mind
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This download is a sample of the music only and must be deleted from your computer within 24 hours of downloading. This download link will expire on 26th June.

W pt. 2 is probably the most aggressive track on the album, it has quite dramatic brass samples and is a bit of a dig at GW Bush, but in a mature manner. The track Dynasty reminded me of a more down-tempo version of Ugly Duckling, it's a very funky track and has catchy guitar samples. But the track Yesterday At Midnight has fantastic piano samples and occasional trumpet stabs. Drive really caught my ear with its dramatic 1950's b&w film style strings samples and funky drum loops – I love the way Cadence has used these authentic sounding old samples, all the strings and brass, it really works well. The track No Can Do features Prince Po and is funky in the old jazz funk electric guitar style, the two emcees play off each other well, a head nodder of a track.

Overall, the thing that impressed me with this album was that is a proper album. Sixteen tracks, which at first I thought might be a few too many, but that are actually all very strong and very much in place on the album. If you like laid back jazzy hip-hop, you'll love this. I'll wrap this up by giving you a taster of the moral story that is Malpractice

Cadence – Malpractice
>> download <<
This download is a sample of the music only and must be deleted from your computer within 24 hours of downloading. This download link will expire on 26th June.

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