Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Quick Hitters:: Louwop The Dirty General

I didn't think it was quite fair that the Ack should have all the quick hitting fun, so here's my shot at getting in on the act. A few weeks ago I reviewed HERO's LP, conveniently called the HERO LP, which led Toronto MC Louwop The Dirty General to drop us a line to tell us about his debut The Spic Who Sat By The Door. An Album, I should mention, that you can download for free at Lou's site.

It strikes me that if you're going to rap under the rather hefty moniker Louwop The Dirty General, and you name your debut album The Spic Who Sat By The Door, you'd better have some skills. Not that there's anything wrong with either one, but it's kind of heavy stuff, and it could overshadow Louwop if he didn't deliver. But that's all moot really, as he certainly delivers. The album actually derives it's name from early 70's film The Spook Who Sat By The Door, and clips from the movie are used throughout to form a kind of narrative. The film was about a black CIA agent who resigns from that agency to be a social worker by day, and leader of a group of vigilantes intending to "mess with whitey" at night (as an aside, any 70's movie that contains the phrase "mess with whitey" in it's dialogue is automatically about 13% better I would say).

This appears to be Louwop's aim with his music as well, to challenge the status quo and stand up for his people. He does this with smart, conscious (I know, I don't get to use this one much in reference to hip hop much anymore) lyrics, and skillful MCing that keeps the listener engaged. The prime example of this is album jewel My Revolution, which has solid drums, jazzy background keys and guitar licks, and also features Divine Brown. Here is a little bit of free advice for the kids putting together hip hop tracks with a singer, uhhh, singing the hook: get someone that can actually sing. The song will have a roughly 87% better chance of working if you get someone who has a voice and knows what they're doing. Divine Brown can sing, and this song is all the better due to her presence.

There are other good moments on the album as well. The T.O. ode For The City has a distinct 90's feel and a flute loop the Beatnuts might be envious of. The break-neck pace of Scream shows off Lou's vocal-dexterity, he proves himself to very skilled with the flow but also with his lyrics, which show off his ability to put together interesting rhyme patterns that are still appealing. Louwop rides a beat constructed of soul samples, handclaps, horns, and a Blastmaster sample with Hova like confidence on the solid Can't Stop.

It speaks to how tough it is to make a name for yourself in the Canadian rap biz that Louwop has to promote an album of this quality by giving it away and emailing sites like ours to spread the word. But it's a word I'm certainly happy to spread, as its an enjoyable listen and I think that if you enjoy solid, mature hip hop that is actually intended to be about something real, you'd agree. Check it out for yourself.

MP3:: Louwop - My Revolution
MP3:: Louwop - For The City

Posted at 9:34 AM by naedoo :: 0 comments

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