Reviews:: Birdapres - Catch An L

Birdapres - Catch An LSomeone recently referred to us as “get off my lawn/rap grandpa’s” or some such, and to be honest, I have no issue with that characterization. In fact I’ll wear that label proudly, and if need be I’ll rock some suspenders to keep my Cross Colors jeans hitched up to mid-chest level. I’ll never stop re-visiting, and/or proclaiming my fondness for the hip hop of the late 80′s and early 90′s that I love so much, but I certainly hope I don’t come across as someone who dislikes current hip hop.


So, while I might rock a face palm when the “and I don’t usually like rap!” brigade comes out in full force to praise the tortured genius that is Kanye West, or to simultaneously RT a link of one of the Odd Future guys playing his new single on the auto-harp, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to turn my back on new hip hop. Because if you’re willing to keep your eyes & ears open, there’s always something coming along that reminds you why you still care about hip hop. Catch An L, the latest release from Winnipeg MC Birdapres is that kind of record for me.


Specifically, it’s a reminder that hip hop is indeed an artform, and that art can be captured just as well by two dudes in Winnipeg with skill and passion, as it can by someone making a million dollar album in a huge LA studio. Catch An L was created by Birdapres and producer/MC Tom De Geeter (aka Speed dial 7) in a “makeshift dining room studio”, and I think it’s great. It’s 17 songs strong, but it floats by like a warm breeze, partly because of the interesting choice to include a number of short songs (many are sub 2 minutes), but also because Bird is the kind of MC that makes filler impossible - in my humble at least. His voice/lyrics/phrasing combo makes everything interesting, so whether he’s dissing chumps on Bikes (“I’m in the lab, you’re in a lab making puppies / At Chuck E. Cheese, or Fuddruckers probably / a vocal member of the nut-hugger lobby / I saw a movie about blood-sucking Nazi’s, you got confused by the Hudsucker Proxy”) or doing something more esoteric & personal like Queen of Heaven or The Princess, it all works.


A tip of the hat must go to the production on Catch An L as well, because while there are some traditional hip hop beats, like Show No Flair, many are quite subtle, relying on guitars and mellow keys to let Bird’s lyrics take centre stage. But a careful listen to the production on the album reveals its quality, with plenty of record static and warm analog sounds to serve as a backdrop for Bird’s well thought-out musings. Another hat tip goes to the guests on the album, folks like the aforementioned Speed dial 7, Pip Skid, John Smith, Mike Ladd, Cadence Weapon, Nestor Wynrush, and everyone’s favorite crooning Belgian, Nomad, for making sure their guest turns all meshed very well with the overall tone of the album. Not surprising really, as I believe many of these folks have worked with Bird before.


I’ve broken out some fairly highfalutin’ ideals for this review, but hopefully I’ve managed to accomplish the goal: convincing you to check out Birdapres’ new album. It’s hip hop that is an enjoyable listening experience, but will also get you thinking and has the kind of wordplay that will reward repeated listens. Who doesn’t want some of that? Especially for the low, low price of merely your email address from the awesome Marathon of Dope? So go ahead and get it, you’ll be catching yourself not an L, but a solid record.

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MP3:: Birdapres - Bikes (ft. Speed Dial 7 & Pip Skid)

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MP3:: Birdapres - Hayseeds



Tags: Birdapres, Cadence Weapon,

This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 8th, 2011 at 2:52 pm and is filed under 2011, Canadian Hip Hop, Reviews, Winnipeg. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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One Response to “Reviews:: Birdapres - Catch An L”

Love for Birdapres in the Press | marathon of dope March 14th, 2011 at 4:35 am

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