Checking out a Sinbad show it was no big shocker when, like much of the over 50 set, he took a shot at today's music asking, who will WE go see when we're 50? As he said we won't be dropping it like it's hot, it's just going to fall off.
Contrary to folks blinded by what LAHHE affectionately calls GSS (Generation Superiority Syndrome, because back in the day every song dropped was a straight classic and nothing was about shakin' it up OR shakin' it down.), there are many sides of hip hop and it has it's fair share of musicianship. Just listen to Pharrell talk about chord progressions while creating a new track, watch Late Night with Jimmy Fallon OR right here in L.A. you can catch Rhythm Natives.
As a follow up to their 2007 live recording, Rhythm Natives independently put together their first studio album with the help of Producer and Engineer, Asi Friedman (who was WAY too modest when asked if he thought he was super awesome because he can play four instruments and jumps in if the guys need him), and a few special guests (including their manager, Tricia Jamanila, singing on the Intro).
A few days before the album dropped on October 19th, VNS Radio was on hand at the listening party to interview the crew. A number of influences were mentioned, from Incabus to Swizz Beats, Mint Condition to the best live hip hop has to offer, The Roots and The Foreign Exchange. And from the sound of it, the goal set was to create a compilation of songs that pays respect to their range of influences and translate into an awesome live experience.
On stage at USC's Traditions, the San Fernando Valley team of music loving friends, Jon "Kreative Thought" Narboneta and Glen "Exaktoh" Techico on vocals, Chez Guinto on keys, Robert "Bojo1" Fabros on drums, Martin Fabros on guitar and Matt "Chooboy" Mora on bass, put the album to the test. (Joined by special guests on the keys, Jake killin' the sax and Gabe on the bongos.)
Not long after opening with an attention getting all the way live version of N.E.R.D.'s Lap Dance, it was clear that Tricia was right and you have to see them live.
Take Off (Intro) warmly welcomes you to an album made "with passion and pure love." Move feat. Farmer JohnEric of the Fighting Cocks was put together at Asi's urging and sounds like a good idea with a reggae rock and shout to Mad Lion. Check out the video on the left and yea, Kreative Thought did just say "I tell ya what/run and pick my dry clean up/refill my Starbucks cup/with the grande latte stuff/Water my fake plants/I got you on that intern love, bruh," ouch!
Miss Universe is Rhythm Natives' hip hop love letter and fittingly has a light soulful groove. You can listen to the track and read the lyrics (which are crazy linked up so you can see and hear the references) here. (Extra brownie points for the Boogiemonsters, Recognized Thresholds of Negative Stress reference, a group that also did an open letter a mere 15 years ago.)
Make Up Your Mind has a little Latin soul flavor and leads into a more guitar heavy rock jam, Holdin' It Down, with some of the best lyrics on the album including a must sing-a-long hook featuring Miss Jenn K. Trust Me is a grown and sexy (take that Sinbad) jam where Exaktoh asks the untrusting lady in his life to "loosen up a little, or maybe a whole lot." Mess With feat. Kronic Plague sounds deceptively laidback with a smooth, underwater, early 90s feel of a bizarre ride but the lyrics issue a not-so-friendly, "Watch out!"
Lost Angels is not necessarily a stand out track on the album but shows another side with a summer feel and a message in the lyrics. Download So Fire for FREE courtesy of Rhythm Natives here and give your own comments below on this hip groovin' number. Like This feat. Bambu commands you to like this with a deejay rocking right along with the band.
Take Off (Outro) is a continuation of the airy Intro, effortlessly bringing the album full circle but if you wait for it, it's followed by a short coffee house jam session. Some of us are suckers for a hidden track, no matter how short. Something about a hidden track just says, "Thank you for listening all the way to the end, you're awesome, here's a little something extra JUST for you!" Or maybe it's about being cheap and finding out you got some extra bang for bucks already spent.
Album Release Party
When: Friday, November 5th
Where: J Lounge, Los Angeles (UPDATED 10/29: LOCATION CHANGED!)
Email your guestlist to Rhythm Natives and ladies FREE/fellas $10 (before 11PM)
When: Sunday, November 21st,
Where: The Roxy on Sunset
Tickets: Send email to HFPempire for tickets, $15
Bookings/Management/Press/Publicity: Contact Tricia