Thursday, January 22, 2009

Quick Hitters:: Birdapres - Toothpaste EP

Former Vancity/current Winnipeg MC vet Birdapres made an appearance on the recently released Manitoba edition of our Great Canadian Mixtape Project. The low-key, yet infectious, title track from his new EP, Toothpaste was one of the highlights of a very solid mix. In fact, even the Ack mentioned that he was a big fan of the song, which is kind of rare for a hip hop track around these parts.

Birdapres has been active on the Canadian hip hop scene since the late 90's, and when I realized he'd never received any coverage on the hill until the Manitoba mix, I felt like I needed to write a little something about his new EP. Mainly because it's a really solid EP, but also because you can get yourself a copy for free over at Marathon of Dope (payment is welcome of course!), along with releases from Pip Skid and The Gumshoe Strut.

The Toothpaste EP is self-produced, and the beats are kind of understated, but they're also satisfying and consistent across the EP's 9 songs. As I mentioned, Bird has been in the game for a long time, and his lyrics and flow reflect that. This album finds him kind of surveying the world from his Winnipeg bunker, but he does it in an engaging way, with plenty of great lines to keep you hooked. Opener The Start of Your Ending has a mellow, almost AM radio beat, spiced up by some Burgundy-approved jazz flute licks, that provides a perfect backdrop for Bird to assess his current place in the world. It also contains a female vocal snippit with solid advice: "I think it's a really good idea not to wear argyle socks with camouflage shorts". Impossible to disagree with that really.

Cozy is a nice little jam about quarter-life stress set to a funky blaxploitation-esque beat. It opens with this line: "My plans are so low budget, you live and learn, ask Joe Public". I have to say, if you're of a certain age, and a Joe Public reference doesn't make you smile a bit, you've just given up. I've mentioned the goodness of Toothpaste's title track already, but he's got a great explanation of the name's origin in this interview from UGSMAG:

It came from a story a friend had told me about somebody not being into rappers who rap about Toothpaste. Like there was a whole genre of Crest Hop or something. I knew that the guy in question meant MCs with more abstract lyrics or who were possibly into the minutia of every day life, but I thought it was funny. Since I seemed to fit the category, I figured I’d run with it...

Great stuff right there. I can get down with toothpaste rap, when it's done right, and Birdapres shows 'em how it's done on this EP. So get yourself a copy.

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Posted at 10:46 AM by naedoo :: 0 comments

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