Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Reviews:: Ghettosocks - Get Some Friends

If the title of the intro track on Get Some Friends is to be believed, Ghettosocks is just okay. Well if you take a listen to the album for yourself, I think you'll agree that he's being plenty modest. No worries though, the modesty is only momentary, as the rest of the album is filled with braggadocios battle raps which at one point find Socks claiming to have created not only Stonehenge and the Pyramids, but Flintstone vitamins as well. Impressive.

This is an album I've been meaning to review since I first checked it out for my ECMA hip hop nominations preview. But I had a bit of trouble getting a copy of the album, and then once I got it there was always something else to review, not to mention my laziness and apathy to combat. However, this is a good album, and I really wanted to write something about it. "Well bully for you Shane", I hear you saying, "But just who exactly is this sublimely named Ghettosocks?" A fair question, let's get to it then.

Ghettosocks is a Halifax MC and producer and a member of the Alpha Flight Crew. Socks reminds me an awful lot of Edan, as his flow sounds very similar to the Humble Magnificent's, and he also has a bit of an oddball sense of humor like Edan's, which certainly comes through in his lyrics. Also like Edan, Ghettosocks makes sample-heavy beats that are very true to hip hop's roots and far from the commercial sounds that are so prevalent today. So what's the moral of this paragraph? Ghettosocks reminds me of Edan. But being of fan of Edan's, I certainly don't think this is a bad thing. Considering Socks opened for Edan when he was here in Halifax, I'm guessing he's a fan too.

The aforementioned intro Socks Is Okay, with its bouncy boom bap and tons of scratched hip hop samples, sets the table for an album full of classic underground hip hop. Aplpha Flight member Bix gives Socks a hand on Suck It Up, which has the kind of catchy drums and nice horn flourishes that would make it a winner even if Socks didn't unleash a boatload of one-liners:

It's the smooth talker, live from the zoo in tube socks,
keeping Tupac's head in a jar with blue Vodka,
Too proper, what? You think I'm too awkward?
Rocking a tactical belt with no pants like Chewbacca

I'm not even sure I got all that right, but Socks is the kind of MC where it pays to listen closely to because you'll miss some clever stuff otherwise. A Song About Breakdancing is a fine ode to the 5 elements, namely, as you might guess, breakdancing. Step To A T-Rex was nominated for an ECMA, and although it's not my favorite track on the album, it's a cool song. The excellently named Count Sockula Esquire opens with an interesting snippet from Jackie Brown before settling into a smooth jam during which Socks drops the line "Can't wait until Konami drops Contra 7". Rather impossible to dislike a song with a Contra reference.

City Life has a beat that stops and starts like a Primo track as well as some nice soul samples. It also features Montreal's Loe Pesci and Halifax rap don Classified guesting on the vocals. This ode to the ills of urban life is probably the most "serious" vocal turn you'll find from Socks on this album. Read-A-Book is that rarest of species, a hip hop song about books. And no smart guy, Gza's Publicity, although excellent, doesn't count. It's about magazines. Ever wanted to hear Phillip K. Dick name-checked in a rap song? Then this one's for you. Honestly, I would like Steal From Walmart on the title alone, even if the song itself was terrible. Luckily, the song is comical, too many great lines to name, but this about sums it up: "You think it's strange how I flex this way? How many rappers you know would steal a Shrek display?"

Get Some Friends (an excellent album title I should add) is a very good hip hop album. And I say that without an ounce of Halifax bias in the mix. If you told me Socks was from Porcupine Plain, Saskatchewan, I'd still be a big fan of this album. But we all know that's impossible, no one raps in Saskatchewan. Prove me wrong Saskatchewan, prove me wrong. Anyway, this album is solid hip hop from start to finish, I recommend it highly. So get out there and get some friends. Pick up this album too chauncey, ha!

mp3:: Step To A T-Rex f. DJ Josh

mp3:: Steal From Walmart

Posted at 11:12 AM by naedoo :: 1 comments

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At 1:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous did sayeth:

yeh ghettosocks is ill
one comment though
saskatchewan has got some sick hop hop, such as many artists from side road records, and clothes horse records (and no i am not from saskatchewan)
but you should check it out my friend


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