Thursday, October 23, 2008
Wordsmith - The Revolution Begins With a Takeover Vol.1 (DJ Furious Styles/HipHopDX.com)
Wordsmith has, probably more than any other MC in Baltimore over the past couple years, made the internet his territory, the place where he promotes and distributes his music and makes fans and alliances. And while I respect that, and I'm of course online a lot and wish more artists had his web savvy, I'm also at heart a pretty old-fashioned guy, and tend to pay way more attention when I have a physical CD in my hands or see someone perform live or otherwise encounter them around town. So all the while he's been making a lot of big moves, I've been kind of sleeping on him, partly because he's a shameless spammer, and that always turns me off. I get an average of 8 or 9 Wordsmith-related e-mails a week, over a hundred over the past year, and when there is some content or writing in there beyond links and plugs I haven't really gotten much of a sense or who he is or what his music's about, or really been given a reason to feel curious. Lately he's been including a long list of websites that support him in his e-mails and mixtape covers, and mine hasn't been mentioned in there, although I've posted flyers for his radio station and his shows several times, so who knows, maybe he feels like he's been neglected by this site compared to other Baltimore MC's, who knows, but if he does I can't blame him I guess.
So Wordsmith has a lot of mixtape online, and I keep meaning to check for them and have been falling way behind. I got one a while back, but it was all one long track, podcast-style, which made it kind of impossible for me to review. So this is the 2nd one I've checked out, and I like it a little more. He has a partnership with HipHopDX.com, who offered the whole mixtape as an exclusive download. The sound on here's pretty slick, pretty professional, lot of original production. He's got kind of a raspy voice and earnest delivery that reminds me a little of Talib Kweli, not a really automatically interesting rapper that makes me want to listen closer but when I do he's got some hot lines, and sometimes some pretty generic lyrics. As often as he drops new mixtapes, though, obviously I need to hear a lot more before I get a handle on his music, though.
Wordsmith - "Corrupt Justice" (mp3)
I kinda feel like this is the best showcase of his skills, on this mixtape at least, nice detailed storytelling joint where he sticks to one theme.