In an era of havoc and mayhem, political theft and false patriotism, a cadre of highly skilled flow technicians abandon the sinking ship of state to bring the word to the streets. That grievous enemy of the listeners and true heads, “the Establishment” fully aware that the people need beats and rhymes to live, have embarked on a campaign of sonic terrorism. Flooding minds and airwaves with pollutants while grudgingly distributing real hip hop in tainted and dwindling doses.
Determined to derail this morbid status quo, Typical Cats risk the charge of treason to form an underground civil service to freely circulate raw music to the masses. No agenda to push, no president to answer to, no plastic capsules, no commercial breaks.
QWEL & MAKER
Hailed by many as one of the most skilled and innovative lyricist since hip hop’s conception, Qwel is not your average ambiguous applause monger. Seasoned within Chicago’s unrelenting battle circuit, Qwel found his niche among his soon to be crew at University of Chicago’s WHPK Wednesday night rap show. The show, a staple in Chicago underground history, was then hosted by DJ Natural and Kid Knish. There he would meet both Denizen Kane and Qwazaar and soon after they would form Typical Cats. The project that they shortly after released, would instantly gain both national and international acclaim. When Qwel and Maker first discussed the possibility of collaborating on the first of the four horsemen/seasons albums neither one of them could have fully known exactly what they were unleashing on the underground hip hop world. With Makers rare and completely unprecedented production style, Qwel saw an opportunity to return to true school ripping it with the proper canvas to topple topics that the cornier, true school emcees wouldn’t dare. With a much more up beat and banging approach to the songs Qwel and Maker dropped one of the greatest underground hip hop albums of all time, “The Harvest”.
At this point in his career, Qwa’s pedigree is unquestionable. South Side representative extraordinaire; Low End theorist; endlessly inventive with flows and increasingly daring in subject and range. Long hailed for his vocal ability, the decades have seen Qwa transform into the rare artist whose symphonic flow is effortlessly matched to pitch-perfect confessional content. The moments that meld both into a unique storytelling voice are rare—Rakim’s “The Ghetto” comes to mind, as do Black Thought’s post-bop excursions. Qwa’s true corollary, however, aren’t his fellow MCs—it’s Charlie Parker, whose wrenching solos feature a technical genius that are only matched by their sorrow—the sound of Icarus’ wings melting. He’s found his proper spar this go-round—Batsauce is a Berlin-based turntable Gillespie (URB recently dubbed him “the next ‘it’ thing in underground hip hop”), and their first full-length is a true titanic, trans-Atlantic meeting of the minds.
Etching out the blueprint for the future of emceeing, ADaD is the next breakout artist to enter into the rap game. Championed by the likes of Exile and Madlib, he is the nexus between hip-hop’s Golden Era and the new movements derived from today’s hip-hop.