Sunday, September 21, 2008

Charles The Hamiltonization Process

One of my favorite rappers out right now is Charles Hamilton. He's relatively new in the sense that he doesn't have a formally released "album" out, but he's got free mixtapes galore. His internet dominance can be viewed Flash-style on the website Every two weeks comes a brand new mixtape with a completely new concept. And each is worth downloading if you're willingly interested in someone wanting to make hip hop a more creativve process altogether, but one who still comes hard on the mic.

His first release is ironically called Death of the Mixtape Rapper (downloadable link!). This tape can take you by surprise in its seemingly contradictory approach. It's titled that yet he's pushing a line of mixtapes ... and he's claiming to be a force outside of industry influence yet his lyrics don't seem to tend to far from the mainstream tree ... but that's exactly the point. Charles opens his musical opus with this intentional ode to the new brand of uninterested, money-hungry "rappers" that come out with a mixtape on a daily basis. This album is more inclined to prove a point than to creatively blow your mind (that aspect is reserved for later). Charles shows that he can out-swagger the swaggeriest, even before the posse cut of the millennium dropped. Even if it only serves as a way to ease commercial fans into his music, its effective and impressive.

His second is called And Then They Played Dilla (downloadable link!). This one's a nod to the unfortunate fact that to the collective rap world, the musical genius of mega-producer J Dilla has only come to be appreciated after his untimely death. But Charles doesn't just rap over an old Jay Dee beat tape to pay his respects, he does what Dilla would do! He respins sampled Dilla instrumentals into his own beats, and then rhymes over them. So a futuristic approach to classic sounds is made. You can't beat contradiction!

So if you claim to be a fan of rap music, then you better be up on this guy before his Interscope-released debut sees the light of day. Or else you'll have a lot of catching up to do.

And what's better than a rapper who's unafraid to make Sonic the Hedgehog culturally relevant again? That takes me back to those 16-bit video game days long before I knew the relevance of 16-bits due to the C++ programming class I'm currently taking!

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