Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Reviews:: Soulstice & SBe - Beyond Borders

Other than our semi-regular hip hop single-song rundown, BOX!, my coverage of American hip hop here on the hill has been pretty minimal for some time now. This is mainly due to our "Canada First" (it's not just for economic stimulus anymore!) mantra when it comes to sourcing music for the site, and, to be perfectly honest, there are plenty of other sites that have American hip hop on lock. That said, we are still sent a lot of interesting hip hop from south of the border that I'd like to find space for on the hill, case in point: Beyond Borders, the new collaboration album from Chicago MC Soulstice and Belgian producer SBe.

I reviewed Soulstice's last album, 2007's Dead Letter Perfect, or rather I fawned over it a little bit, as it came out of nowhere and blew me away, and so when we were sent info on his new album I was anxious to hear it. And hearing the concept only peaked my interest that much more:

the project is a collaboration between myself and Belgian beatmaker, SBe, who provides all of the instrumental music for the album. As far as the vocals, the songs are collaborations between myself and many of my favorite artists from around the world. We've got artists from the US, UK, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium, Africa, and Canada.

What's that, Canada you say? Looks like Beyond Borders might still satisfy our stringent can-con standards after all. The Canadian content here is brought by T.O. expat MC Eternia, who calls Brooklyn home currently, and kicks a fine verse on No Place Like It. Now this kind of semi high-minded concept could be a little tough to swallow for a hip hop album, but that's not the case on Beyond Borders. The idea of traveling, touring and of hip hop now being truly worldwide runs throughout the album, but it's done in a rather subtle form, and the MC's mesh so well with Soulstice that you don't feel the concept is being forced on you.

But the fact that the album works is largely due to Soulstice's skill on the mic, and SBe's production. The beats are solid throughout, with a somewhat electro boom-bap sound that still feels plenty soulful. As for Soulstice, he's a clever, thoughtful MC that writes lyrics about things an average Joe might actually be able to relate to, without being mundane, and that's a good thing in my book. Beyond Borders drops next week, June 23rd I do believe, but until then you can check out the three songs below that he & his PR peeps have sent out over the last couple weeks. It's good stuff, so have a listen.

MP3:: SoulStice & SBe - Beyond Borders f. Supastition & Angelina

MP3:: SoulStice & SBe - Bird's Eye View f. Kev Brown

MP3:: SoulStice - Chi Worldwide (Remix) f. Naledge & GLC

Posted at 2:50 PM by naedoo :: 0 comments

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