The Aztext x XPL – Who Cares If We’re Dope? Vol. 3
Artist: The Aztext
- Ol’ Skool
- Down The Road
- Break It Down (ft. Skilltester Stabbone)
- Nothing I Say (ft. Memms)
- Down The Road II
The Aztext are an oft overlooked group in Independent Hip Hop. That may primarily be because of the fact they hail from ‘under-the-radar’ Burlington, VT. But we all now know that hip hop is not restricted to major metropolitan areas. Hip Hop has reached almost every corridor of the world, and certainly the nation. Once you hear the music The Aztext make, where they are from becomes a moot point.
The Aztext have release a series of projects which focus on enlisting one producer for all of the songs. For the third installment they are working with XPL who I know nothing about at all. The production is indeed a strength of this EP however. I consider it moreso than the other two installments of EPs previously released. The beats are mellow, yet charismatic.They draw you in.
Ol’Skool gives you an indication of where the artists’ heads are at. They stay true to hip hop’s basics. They are not being to over indulgent and rapping about things that have not happened to them or things they do not have. They are about the beats and the lyrics. They are in fact purists.Down The Road is a song that asks the question: If you met the future version of you would you want to know the story of your life or would you rather just let it play out? The songs verses have the emcees play out from the vantage point of the emcees’ younger selves meeting the older versions. It’s an interesting premise. It’s a dope track conceptually and definitely one that I could see getting extended run on the Ipod.
Break It Down is an extremely mellow track that features an emcee that spits better in his second language (English) then some people in their first language. I first ran into Skilltester Stabbone’s music on an EP from Romanian producer, Jupiter. Coincidentally that same EP also featured The Aztext. Obviously a connection was made from that process and a couple of years later they are doing songs together. This song is one that you could vibe to to unwind from a long day. And again, it bears mentioning, Stabbone’s first language is Romanian and he kills it in English. Damn impressive.
The second version of Down The Road is actually my favorite track off of the EP as it has the emcees now writing from the perspective of being the older versions meeting themselves in their youth in the same situations as the first version of the song as heard earlier in the EP. I like how they made two songs relating to once concept but from two unique vantage points. That’s probably one of the most innovative tracks I have heard in a long while. The production is jazzy and incorporates more horn than the original. It’s just a fun song who’s vision is executed to perfection.
Overall when you listen to this third installment of Who Cares If We’re Dope? you get the sense that The Aztext have a great appreciation for hip hop artists who came before them. They aren’t flashy and won’t offer you any corny gimmicks. Their style is steepened in lyricism, dope beats, and the ability to make good songs. XPL gave a very good showing of himself as well on this EP. There was nothing too heavy in his production but yet they did make me nod my head quite a bit. He is definitely on a laid back vibe.
If their website is accurate, it looks like the next project from The Aztext will be produced by Dub Sonata. I am big fan of his work and look forward to when that one will drop. So cop this release and stay tuned for more from the team. if you are interested in the first two installments, just search Itunes and give them a listen.