clear soul forces – detroit revolution(s) [download]

Clear Soul Dorces - Detroit Revolution(s) coverTime to get back to basics. Since hip hop is making good money for years now, the focus has shifted to bank accounts, fortune and fame. For those who were only exposed to our beloved genre when it hit mainstream, it wasn’t always that way. Now I don’t want to start a whole rant about going back to “Peace, love, unity, and having fun”, because honestly we’re still doing that. But there’s one aspect that emphasizes the state of hip hop right now, and that’s individualism. It shines through in everything: the harshness/excentricness  of the beats, the flat lyrics, the price of shows, the video’s, the beefs, you name it. In other words, when was the last time you heard a collective of people that made music that sounded fun, feels good and doesn’t try to be more than it is: music.


Of course there are still heads out there trying to make it work, but without scavenging the net you won’t be exposed to them through all the Wale’s, Drake’s, Wayne’s and so on. You know, the music where you listen to and you instantly feel the friendship, co-operation and togetherness seeping through. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had the chart-hitters since the mid-80s and that’s cool. But lately I’ve got the feeling the balance has shifted way too much in favor of those who are out for the cash and the fame. And come on, when you’re out hanging with your friends, chilling and having fun, do you really want to listen hard or arty-farty beats with rhymes about who has the most stacks ‘n racks, bitches and mansions? Let’s save that for the weekend-nights in the clubs, where it belongs.


So let’s put the spotlight on one of the few groups out there doing their thing, delivering quality music and putting that out for whatever you want to spend on it: Clear Soul Forces. These 4 guys from Detroit can write, flow, and make beats: everything you need to make decent hip hop. In early 2012, E-Fav, L.A.Z., Noveliss and Ilajide put out their album Detroit Revolution(s) on Bandcamp, and damn it’s good to hear oldschool-flavored beats and rhymes of a proper level. Just kicks, hihats, snares, samples and tight flows, on a pretty much easy-going tip.


Most of the production on the album is done by Ilajide, who has a good ear for making contemporary beats while maintaining the warm mid-90s feel. He’s being assisted by Nameless, King Midas and long-time veteran Kankick. As far as I can see there are no featurings on the album, but who needs that anyway when you’ve got 4 MC’s who can stand their own ground? The whole thing is mixed and mastered so that the tracks by the guest producers won’t stand out too much, making the listening from start to end feel really consistent. Every synthy addition to the sampled beats is purely to top off the product, in stead of trying to put them on the forefront.


Let the hardcore rappers do their thing, and give space to the pop/chart icons, but let’s not forget to keep the balance by giving some plays to the guys who are doing this for the love, in stead of for the money. Get “Detroit Revolution(s)” here, and connect to Clear Soul Forces on Facebook and Twitter.