Boomkat Product Review:
So is 2007 the year hip hop got good again? Certainly already this year we've had our collective jaws forced open by the incredible debut album from Shape of Broad Minds, and next to killer new joints from Common and Kanye West and with plenty of Madlib associated business in between there's no reason anymore to be lamenting the good old days. This latest from the ever reliable Stones Throw label is yet another reason to get excited, and it ain't from no newcomer, no 'Perseverance' is the debut solo full-length from old school legend Percee P, and not only this, it's produced by the God-like Madlib. So the 'lib might be producing hundreds of tracks a week (Percee P claims to have picked these from over four-hundred beats) but that's maybe the reason why the stuff that reaches us is so damned impressive, and here's where the man gets to genuinely flex his old school muscle. Percee's been rapping since 1979 and typifies the East Coast sound, fast, lyrical and versatile - it's hardly surprising that he used to run with the D.I.T.C crew (Lord Finesse, Big L et al) there's a similar urgency to Percee's rhymes that makes you realise what's missing from modern hip hop. This isn't however an exercise in style, an attempt for Stones Throw to capture the essence of the glory days of hip hop, rather this is a chance for people to hear Percee P's insane lyrical skill, his tight flows and grand vision, and who better to realise that than Madlib? The beats thankfully are killer enough to bolster the quality of the emceeing and show not only Madlib's usually sickening skills and originality but seem to gel with Percee's rhymes perfectly. Just check the videogame sampling '2 Brothers from the Gutter' - simultaneously old school and devilishly modern this is a track you can imagine having the new wave of producers (Flying Lotus, Dabrye, Lukid etc) getting all hot under the collar over, it's just that good. Elsewhere we have the dark, horror-inspired 'The Dirt and Filth' which features Def Jux man Aesop Rock on the mic for one of the album's grimiest tracks, and 'Raw Heat' that features one of the most crushed beats I've ever heard on record. Shockingly consistent in both flow and production this is one of the finest records on Stones Throw to date and another reason not to lose interest in hip hop in 2007. It's still out there, and with an album like 'Perseverance' it's still gonna be high up on the critical scale - an essential purchase.