Hip-Hop has a lot of r”Yo moriri, y nadié se acordera de me”ers, whether that be King of The South, King of New York or whatever locale is in the midst of a run. Anarchy eschews the rule of one for the sake of the many. Enter emcee I Am Many and his debut album OBESE. The work is a compact, high-powered shot to conventional Hip-Hop that avoids established clichés. No club song, no chick song. Just hardcore Hip-Hop from a skilled practitioner with a worldview that goes far deeper than block politics and whoremongering.
The album’s production, provided by production duo 2 Hungry Bros, is sample driven but well-dug in terms of the obscurity of choices. There are electric guitar riffs, distortion and other elements all surgically stitched together in an efficient, well-arranged 12 song package. There are themes of addiction and anarchy and rebelling against established normss. And pussy and just being yourself, a subject that seems to escape the vast majority of rap music these days without giving airtime to imaginary haters.
Many of the album’s highlights come with high powered production and aggressive deliveries. Party Dave, one of the more lighthearted tracks on OBESE has hard, driving old school drums and an angelic mini break that separates each verse. Get Your Back Up Off The Wall packs the energy of a Blaxploitation car chase, full of musical drama and a well-constructed layout that calls us on the carpet for being weak in the face of our problems, from gay politicians that pass anti-gay laws, fat dudes succumbing to the power of bacon cheeseburgers, drug addicts, people in abusive relationships and many more vices.
Divine In The Flesh is the emcee highlight of the album with the irrepressible HomeBoy Sandman guest rhyming the shit out of the track with bars upon bars of razor sharp goodness. He rhymes:
Give a fuck about your budget, kiss the bunion./Think I’mma kick the bucket then you buggin/I’m just a cat that likes to wish the cat done drug in/ but know a lil something fo’ sho’, no shoulder shrugging/ I drove clones in droves of curmudgeons in a rumble for the rubbish/ them puppets are published to the public/ fuck being here to change the game I’m here to change the subject/ transfer all the royalties from royalty to the subjects/ serve a summons to the suckers at the summit…
OBESE opener Boxes, whose thumps will make your neighbors fucking hate you, features alliteration, rhyme schemes that repeat words, rhyming the end of the stanza with the beginning of the next, breaking bar schemes and numerous devices that all segue into each other at the frenetic drop of a hat.
The slower songs are well placed to give you a breather from I Am Many’s aggressive delivery. Seek Adventure features a soothing Spanish vocal on the hook while I Am Many exhorts you to “seek adventure, strive to be remembered if not, take part in something you’ll remember.” Peace Over War addresses the vulnerability of a docile people to the power of Societal/Political/Religious structures. Many declares, “If it’s bullshit or nothing, I vote silence if it’s get abused or fight, I vote violence In addition to that, I vote minus, take away the malarkey they market to the minors.”
Songs like Tricks Of The Trade and OBESE closer Muscle Face & Lucas are evidence of Many’s narrative prowess, with each track featuring vivid imagery and layered storytelling.
I Am Many’s style is aggressive and jarring to those who aren’t used to listening to anything with density. If you are used to two line rhyme schemes and party music or frivolity, this may not be for you. But if you like hard beats with rhymes that are fluid, furious and functional then look no further. The beats are fat but the rhymes are OBESE.
Out of 5
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