Artist: The 17th
Album: The Free Music EP
Where to start? How about this…The 17th brings you the best EP of 2012 thus far…for FREE. I would not dare to joke when it comes to musical taste and sending this project in your direction. This EP simply is one of the most complete packages this year. Rarely do I have an “Oh Shit!” moment when it comes to listening to music these days, but this guy made me say that exact phrase several times throughout this eight track project.
Right after the Intro, about thirty seconds into the track, No Name, I knew that The 17th was onto not only to something fresh, but also exciting. The production is really astonishing. The way the kids voices are used to antagonize and respond was nothing short of genius. That work behind the boards was done by Clockwork, whom I later became aware has passed away (RIP). The 17th, in his bars, points out all the misconceptions and stereotypes he has been confronted with.
We’ve talked about the tracks, Rubbish and Local Artist previously but they still remain heavy highlights on this short EP. I especially appreciate Local Artist because of how he portrays the woes, hustle, and lifestyle of being a local hip hop artist. But he also has a warning (or suggestions) for those who claim to be ‘artists’
Shit look where my town’s at / I haven’t gotta gun, it’s just my hand in a brown bag / Before you speak, learn how to breathe and pronounce raps / Otherwise you ain’t seeing shit like it’s on a brown rag / You couldn’t hold cheese if you was a mouse trap / You can’t make shit fresh if you was a house cat / Don’t let me catch you out in the town alone with out gas / Or you’ll be screaming for your homies like Al Scratch
The Product showcases The 17th’s storytelling ability on all three verses. The track’s basis is how we are each made, in part, as a product of our environments. The second verse in particular is especially dope, yet unnerving. It gets inside the mind of a terrorist on an airplane getting ready to crash. The production which is done by the 17th himself is straight out of the movie The Omen. He’s on some kill Damian type movement with this track. This is hip hop with an evil intention.
In a genre where it gets harder and harder each day to stand out, The 17th sets himself light years apart from the rest of the field. Not only do his rhymes create this kind of differentiation, it’s also his ability to produce. He produced six of the eight tracks on this EP and his ear for creating beats is on par with some of the best. But along with beats and lyrics, there is something intangible, that I can’t point my finger on to describe to you. The word that comes closest to mind is simply…special.