Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Reviews:: Ghettosocks - Treat Of The Day

There's a good chance many of you reading this have not heard of Ghettosocks. That's fine, I mean, after all, that's what we're here for, to try and remedy that situation. But I will says this: if you like classic hip hop (more specifically hip hop & hip hop culture from the early to mid nineties), and you do listen to a Ghettosocks album, I'd be willing to bet my leather Africa medallion that you're going to like it. In fact, we should make the Grand Wizard Ghettosocks required listening for any fan of Golden Age hip hip - perhaps we can talk to KRS about getting such an amendment made to the hip hop constitution he's no doubt been writing for some time.

Despite that intro, I'd like to think that if you are a regular reader of the hill, then you likely have heard of Ghettosocks, as I've mentioned him a number of times previously. This includes fairly-fawning reviews of his last two projects: 2007's Get Some Friends, and his mixtape from last year, I Can Make Your Dog Famous. As you might imagine if you check out either of those reviews, I was eagerly awaiting the chance to hear Socks latest release, Treat Of The Day, and now that I have, you can add a third fawning review to that list.

I've said words to this effect, and I'll say them again, Ghettosocks is easily one of my favorite Canadian MC's, and he would still be even if he didn't happen to live in the city the hill calls home, but rather Conception Harbour, Thunder Bay, Moose Jaw, or some other dual-named locale across this country. Any Ghettosocks project always matches his razor sharp, monotone flow and his mastery of witty one-liners with top notch boom-bapery and the finest in old school samples. The tasty Treat Of The Day is no different. Well it's slightly different, what with the delicious theme that runs through the album and the fact that this time out Socks reached out to a number of his Alpha Flight & Backburner associates to provide the production where previously he'd kept things mostly in-house (I believe he did most or all of the beats on Get Some Friends, while Socks & Jorun handled things on the mixtape). And Socks might be on more of a "killing sucker MC's and taking their chicks/snacks" mission then his last outing, but there is no change in the level of quality, if anything this is his strongest all-around work to date.

That quality comes hard and fast at the album's start as the Dexter Doolittle, Saturday morning cartoon-esque beat and the odd, Too Short-sounding chorus sample on Onlyindamornin' are the prefect kind of opening song oddness for Socks, and the Big jaz homage that is Dreams Of Hawaiian Sophie is just awesome, thanks in no small part to the fact that it samples one of my favorite KRS songs. The floaty, Jorun produced, Out For treats is now my favorite Halifax food-rap, taking the title from Buck65's Food, which was good, but can't compete with "me & my peeps got hot eats in the grotto, fresh meat in the taco, extra cheese on the nacho". If you're looking for a microcosm of the excellence found on this album, you can listen to Ricochet and go no further. Awesome horn, drum & didgeridoo(?) beat from Bix, braggadocios raps from Socks & the legendary El Da Sensei, and the best of scratched in samples from folks like Redman, Joeski Love, and hill fave Greg Nice. Awesome song.

Pink Lemonade is another soul-drenched winner from Bix, which suits Socks & Apt's laid back lady-slaying raps just perfectly, and it also uses perhaps my favorite Guru line ever ("Lemonade was a popular drink and it still is..."), and so this gets an A+. The snake charmer slink of the Fresh Kils' track on U Ain't This is a perfect foil for the sucker MC mashing raps of T.O. MC's D-Sisive, Rich Kidd & Muneshine who join Socks for this one. D-Sisive + solid posse cut = win. Anything that can bring back dual favorite memories like classic Wu and watching Kung Fu flicks in hill co-founder Shawn Lapaix's basement (he actually owned a VHS copy of Fatal Flying Guillotine) gets an old fashioned THD thumbs up from me, and Guillotine does just that. Just an FYI, when we saw Socks do Take Chains Off when he opened for the GZA, kids freaked the f out, so consider yourself forewarned that The Power mixed with the Mash Out Posse is an explosive musical concoction (as if that wasn't enough, the song finishes with the legendary Bernie Mac speech from House Party 3...RIP B. Mac). Rock The Discotech has an awesome name, fun back & forth rhymes from Socks and Timbuktu, and great samples from BDK and Donald-D/The B-Boys - that's win, win, and win if you're keeping score at home.

So, back to what I was saying at the beginning of this opus, we'd like to help create as many Ghettosocks converts as we can, and so hopefully some little bit of this has tempted a few of you to sample what Socks has on offer. Go ahead and treat yourself to Treat Of The Day.

MP3:: Ghettosocks - Don't Turn Around (Featuring Edgar Allen Floe)

Don't Turn Around (Featuring Edgar Allen Floe)

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