Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Reviews:: More Or Les & Fresh Kils - The Les Kils EP

I think it's safe to say that the MC/Producer combo has replaced the MC/DJ as the preferred hip hop combo in the 00's. In days gone by, in order to create hip hop, whether in the studio or live on stage, a DJ on the 1's & 2's was a pre-requisite. At some point though, the DJ role became more about creating instrumentals, not playing them. MC's certainly recognized this sea-change as much as anyone, and so from their perspective, it made sense to get aligned with someone whose beats play such a major role in their success or failure.

Is this a positive development? Well it's debatable, because while I think it's sad to see the DJ's role reduced, there's no denying that some quality music has resulted from these new-school MC/Producer unions (Soul Position, Madvillian, DangerDoom, and 9th Wonder & almost anyone you can think of spring to mind immediately, but there are tons more). Canada is not immune to this phenomenon, and the latest evidence of this is a collaboration between Backburner crew mates More Or Les & Fresh Kils with their new EP, The Les Kils EP.

Not sure if this is intended to be a one-off collab, but I'll go ahead now and cast my vote for more music from Les & Kils. The two mesh perfectly, with the snap and thump of Kils MPC-laced beats providing a solid foundation for Les' lyrically intensive lyrics that he delivers with a sly grin. From the thump and bounce of the EP's first proper song, Rip Rap and its bluesy guitar riffs, More Or Les grabs your attention with his speedy, yet melodious, flow. Put It Together follows, and while it remains similar in subject matter (the bigging up of true hip hop and its accompanying culture), the beat has more of a "hard & soft" feel - with floaty chimes playing a major role, but being counter balenced by solid drums and plenty of well-timed scratched samples.

Which reminds me, although I spent the whole intro of this post talking about the MC/Producer dynamic, Les & Kils certainly haven't forgotten about the DJ. It's The DJ is a song dedicated to exactly that purpose, reminding folks that the DJ still has a major role to play in hip hop. More to that point, Les & Kils recruited Haligonian (and fellow Backburner associate) Uncle Fester to provide the cuts & scratches for the majority of the songs on the EP. He does fine work too, providing a ton of classic samples over the course of this short album.

In case I haven't quite convinced you of the merits of The Les Kils EP, here's one more thing to like. These days the throwback, nostalgic track is as trendy as rocking high tops with the tongue sticking out seems to have become. So sure, everyone does the high school "when I first got into hip hop" song, but Les, with the help of Timbuktu and the Grand Wizard Ghettosocks take it back to middle school with Pop N Chips. The three MC's kick tag team raps over an 80's fast rap & horns beat, and there are also mentions of the Zit Remedy, Edison Twins, and Hyper Colour. What's not to like there? Nothing friend.

Considering I've enjoyed the work of both More Or Les and Fresh Kils in their previous, separate endeavors, it's no surprise that I'm a big fan of their EP. It does what a good EP should, provide nothing but quality songs, and leave the listener wanting to hear more. It's also further proof that, as far as crews go, Backburner is one of, if not the most prolific producers of quality hip hop in Canada. If your knowledge of Canadian hip hop begins and ends with what ends up on the various Polaris lists, this is the kind of thing you need to hear.

More Or Les & Fresh Kils - Rip Rap

More Or Les & Fresh Kils - Pop N Chips f. Ghettosocks & Timbuktu

MP3:: More Or Les - Comedy Two

MP3:: More Or Les - Talk To The Hand (Solo) (Dirty Sample Remix)

Labels: Backburner, , Fresh Kils, , More Or Les

Posted at 10:14 AM by naedoo :: 0 comments

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