UK Hip Hop: Artists & Discographies
Kemo The Blaxican - Simple Plan CD [Dead Silence Records]
Kemo The Blaxican - Simple Plan CD [Dead Silence Records]
01 . No Es Complicado 00:23
02 . La Receta 03:42
03 . Una Copa Mas 04:12
04 . Simple Plan 04:43
(ft. Jehuniko, Mostro & Monica Cuello Ortiz)
05 . Leccsion 13 00:07
06 . Somos Trese 04:14
07 . Bad Money 00:41
08 . Kind Of Stories 02:45
09 . Ruido 04:15 (ft. Sicko)
10 . I Drink She Smokes 03:09
11 . Note The Crowd 03:25
12 . Silence Is Dead 02:43
13 . A Thousand Prayers 00:43
14 . Reflejo 02:44
15 . What About Nails ? 00:39
16 . Johnny 03:35 (ft. Grisel Ramirez)
17 . Veterans 00:31
18 . Quiero Volar 04:23
19 . La Flor 04:45 (Ft. Monica Cuello Ortiz)
20 . Last Days 03:27
21 . Still The One 00:10
22 . Underground Muscle 04:18 (ft. Jehuniko,Monomaniac,Mostro & Sicko)
23 . Nobody Likes 03:54 (ft. Monica Cuello Ortiz)
24 . Garbagecan Records 00:42
Kemo The Blaxican has some really sweet Latin sounds and inspirations coupled with some hard beats which makes for some impressive Latin Hip Hop. I can't say that I am full across all the Spanish, but the vocal tone and inflections are all there and when this is put together with the flows and how it fits with the beat the overall package is impressive, refined and eminently listenable.

Including skits the LP weighs in at a thick 24 tracks. The first full track comes in surprisingly quickly after the intro, but the Cuban feel of the beat gives the album a strong beginning. The title cut Simple Plan is also a posse cut which features affiliates Jehuniko, Mostro and Monica Quello Ortiz doing the vocal back ups. This has a slower tempo than I has expected and is original with the slightly whiney singing. The beat is simple, but making a simple beat is actually quite complicated. The guitar notes and sequence really make the track swing along. On this track each of the MCs spits in English and this does help me get into the track.

Leccsion 13 is a snippet from a Spanish lesson record and following Somos Trese is another really groovesome track which makes use of more great samples. A double bass and single plucked guitar drive the track with gently stroked violins adding a periodic change. The Bad Money skit in which a father educates his son on who he should be hanging with and where he should be sourcing his money from segues without a break into King Of Stories, another track in English in which Kemo drops some education relating to money issues and the daily rat race.

The production across the LP is all really sweet and the samples selected really go together well. Ruido has a sort of Young Disciples feel. I Drink She Smokes is half of a sort of love song in which Kemo explains how he loves a drink or two, but his loved one loves the Mary Jane, all over a suitably stoned beat with similarly laid back delivery. But about half way through Kemo goes off on a tangent about how West coast radio stations are racist in his opinion because it seems hard to get airplay, then he remembers the track he is on and gets back to telling us about his girl. A bit of a change for Note The Crowd where Kemo breaks down his feelings on playing live and his audiences as he notes the girls in the front row and how he can make the crowd move in unison.

To me Silence Is Dead has a sort of comedy element in the way the production is put together and the way Kemo jokily sings along, but when he raps he gets more serious, there isn't so much of a topic to this track except that Kemo is really letting us in on what he is like as a person. Some Spanish guitars indicate a raising of the tempo and energy levels for Reflejo, much more of a dance track, but in a folk way rather than your traditional House music sense. Johnny re-works a famous Army marching song for a heavy and overbearing production which is predominated with the bassline and this features another of the few guest spots Grisel Ramirez. More Blue Note type samples return for Quiero Volar and some really bouncy production. Kemo is definitely repping his compatriots and with his Spanglish should be able to appeal to many markets. His bilingualism doesn't hamper him at all as he is able to express deep concepts and emotions in both languages. For some reason as soon as La Flor came on I got a feeling of the Pedigree Chumps and I think the Intoxicated Monkeys track. Don't know why right now, but it must be a similar piano sample or something. More likely there is nothing similar about the tracks, just the way my mind works, it definitely reminds me of something.

As the LP enters the final stretch Last Days brings a more melancholy beat for Kemo's dark moody lyrics. Underground Muscle continues this feel with a more aggy delivery and a host of guests including Jehuniko, Monomaniac, Mostro and Sicko, all of whom come correct and make for an outstanding posse cut. The final track Nobody Likes again brings a great soul sample with trumpets and makes for an uplifting beat which is really outstanding. Whilst the lyrics may talk of discrimination, this is not a negative track as Kemo explains how he has the strength to overcome this.

If you have an open mind to a bit of Spanish you could do a lot worse than peeping this release. Peep it even if you don't. I thought that this was quality pretty much all the way through. The artwork is sepia toned and does the job, but the resolution on the print looks like it could be higher.

Related links:

Dead Silence Records, PO BOX 1231, NORWALK CA. 90650
Tel: 714-521-8713 :: mailto:[email protected]

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