Artist: Goldini Bagwell
Album: Secondhand Smoke (X-Ray EP)
The most unique member of the Sandpeople crew, Goldini Bagwell, has finally released the sequel to his criminally slept on Chainsmoke album. And while not as deep in terms of the number of tracks on the project, it’s equal in it’s artistic potency.
Once again the production is fielded by Pmpee Beats out of Finland (I think, no for sure. He’s from Finland). The cohesion between producer and emcee at this point is seamless. They now have two projects under their belts and the two are always on time and in sync throughout the course of each song.
From the set off with the title track Secondhand Smoke we are able to hear Bagwell’s uncanny ability to bend language to his beckon call. A dark, ethereal Pmpee beat pulses slightly underneath Bagwell’s vocals and we hear that vintage wordplay that is overall very slept on (yet celebrated here). He uses references in his phrases like “Flying sitting Coach Rex Ryan with a strategy for smashing teams” It’s just an impressive display of joining phrases that is merely a tone to be set for the rest of the EP.
The gem of the EP and perhaps Bagwell’s entire discography, is the next cut, Said Before. Pmpee unleashes a soulful and extremely addictive production. It has big drums, but it’s the guitar/synth sequence that will get the populous open. It is on this track that Bagwell lets it all go. It sounds like every thought and emotion that has been inside of his body is unleashed in three verses. It’s one of the ‘must hear’ joints of 2013. Let me give you a lyrical sampling of his first verse:
Two months in and this year been crazy / Love of my life rockin’ someone elses baby / Unhappy with close peeps but can’t even talk about it /All while I’m sitting on this slept on album / A few months later I can’t even call the outcome / Trying to quit my job but I’m scared to live without one / I try to take a walk and think before I let my mouth run / Like I might be done in but I won’t be outdone / How come I let these people get the best of me? / They never know it / I don’t show it / I hold it impressively…
The next track is definitely a change of pace that involves Bagwell’s contemporaries, Illmaculate and Al-One. This track is driven by the drums then Pmpee lets the horns blow while DJ Spark chops it up. It’s on a track like this where you can hear, and appreciate, the varying styles of the Sandpeople crew. You can hear the gruff bluntness of Al-One, the polish and precision of Illmaculate, and the clever assembly of words from Goldini Bagwell. I think it’s a true testament to the crew as a whole that they can boast such dynamic potential, and this is just a fraction of it’s components.
There’s a lot of dope material packed into just seven tracks. On Vanglorious, Bagwell combines forces with Serge Severe and Sleep to create another well construed posse cut. The rhymes from each emcee are uniquely woven but come together perfectly for the track’s purpose.
At Hip Hop Dependency I try to make ita habit of bringing you both the dope and unique. If Goldini Bagwell doesn’t fulfill both criteria, I don’t know who does. His approach to the rhyme scheme is atypical. There is so much in the way of internal rhyme and hidden meaning, but Bagwell makes it seem so effortless. It’s part conversational, and it’s another part cathartic monologue, but whatever part you get, you can rest assured it was delivered in the best way possible.