Wednesday, December 01, 2004


Album: Spirit In Stone
Artist: Lifesavas

The Lifesavas are coming out of the hip hop metropolis Portland, Oregon, to save hip hop's collective ass from the monotonous pimp talk and obscure nerd rap that threaten it in 2004. Well maybe I made that up, but despite the borderline wack, and somewhat deceiving name, the Lifesavas' Spirit In Stone is a very good album. Hip Hop in the 2000's could use more music like this.

Considering these chaps are the latest members of the Quannum Projects family, you should have a pretty good idea what you're getting into with this album (that's assuming you're hip hop cool and are familiar with other Quannum releases, otherwise, tough luck ace). Like their Bay area label mates, Jumbo The Garbageman, Vursatyl, and DJ Rev. Shines come with a more musical style of the underground hip hop, with former youth choir member Vursatyl crooning on a number of the tracks.

Musically, the album has a bouncy underground feel created by Jumbo who produced most of the album. These Oregonians can also hold their own on the mic and touch on a number of different topics like the ills of society (What If It's True), corrupt government (Resist), hip hop groupies (Fa' Show), and keeping a level head in the rap game (HelloHiHey). The last of these songs is the jam most people have mentioned after checking this album. Vursatyl encounters a couple emcees who talk a lot of junk, only to realize that these fellows represent him in his younger days and also what he could become if he lets the fame go to his head - sort of a rap version of A Christmas Carol with Vurs playing MC Scrooge. It's a clever idea and shows these dudes have the humility and talent to say a little somethin' interesting on the mic device.

One final thing I should mention is that the only non-Quannum guest on Spirit In Stone is J-Live. In my humble (and correct) opinion, J-Live is one of the best emcees around, so his presence alone makes this CD worth a recommendation. So here's the bottom line: do you like your underground hip hop with some spicy beats and smart lyrics? Well what're you waiting for fancy pants? Go get yourself this album.


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