Reviews:: Lyric1 - Get In On The Ground Floor

Considering we showed Edmonton hip hop some love with our Politic Live review, only made sense to even our review-based battle of Alberta by reviewing some Calgary music. That's where the man known as Lyric1 comes in. He was kind enough to end the hill a copy of his new album, Get In On The Ground Floor, so we gave it a listen.

To say Lyric1 doesn't have the typical life-story of a Canadian MC is a rather large understatement. His parents met in Uganda, but had to flee to England to escape Forest Whitaker's tyrannical regime. Lyric was born in England, but his parents soon headed for Canada, and they settled in Saskatoon. It was in the hip hop mecca that is Saskatoon where Lyric1 began his rap career until he relocated to Calgary in search of opportunities to take his music further. Those opportunities appeared when he met Adollaz and Deezuz, leading the 3 of them to form MOVE (Maintain One Voice Entertainment).

That brings us to Get In On The Ground Floor, which is 14 tracks strong and features production from the likes of Adollaz, The Alchemist, DJ Moves, DJ Rogue, and Bluntologist. Lyric1 has a fairly honest and straightforward approach with his lyrics, telling stories from the unique vantage point his upbringing has given him, and like all good underground MC's in this day and age, discussing the trials and tribulations of the rap biz. I did notice that Lyric has kind of a different flow - it kind of feels like he's a little off-beat when he's rhyming, so at times it sounds like he's trying to catch up to the track. It's not a huge problem though, his lyrics are interesting enough to keep you listening.

Intro (What If) is a good way to get things started, as Lyric1 talks about his life up until this point and how things would be different if his parents didn't have to leave Uganda. Real Rap has a mighty catchy beat with some nice piano stabs and solid horns (always bonus points for the horns). Creative Source also features some nice horns on the track, and it matches Lyric1's flow perfectly as he and Nicademus talk about their devotion to hip hop. Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda has a nice soul- sampled beat produced by the unfortunately named Bluntologist and finds Lyric1 talking about how choices people make impact their lives.

Where Ya From has a bhangra-style beat supplied by Adollaz and finds Lyric1 bigging up his culture, while at the same time letting people know he's a product of his environment and isn't down with all the old customs ("I do my own thing, I know where I'm headin' / I don't plan shit, so f@ck arranged weddings"). Get In On The Ground Floor has some catchy vocal samples that almost sound like a harmonica, and Lyric1 switches his steez up and comes with a double-time flow. It's different from anything else on the album, but I think it works. Forever Movin' warrants mentioning because of it's big-name production credit (The Alchemist), and it's kind of a laid-back, jazzy affair.

After a few listens, I think Lyric1 has a decent album here. The production is solid, and I like where he's coming from lyrically, covering a lot of ground people can relate to. I think if he gets his flow tightened up a bit, there could be big things ahead for him. So if you're looking for Canadian hip hop, get in on the, ahh, ground floor, and check out Lyric1.

mp3>> I Get Lifted

mp3>> Where Ya From

myspace>> maintain one voice

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