Sunday, May 02, 2010

Rome Cee - Tunnel Vision (FreEP)

This free EP (or 'FreEP') by Rome Cee is really a stealth album, in the same sense that B.O.M.B.'s Testers was, fitting about as many songs as you can fit on a record and still plausibly call it an EP (in fact it's got the same number of tracks as Illmatic and only 30 seconds shorter). But what really impresses me about this record is that it doesn't feel like there's a single wasted moment; no intros or outros or skits or choruses that go on forever, just a whole lot of rapping, and Rome Cee is pretty fuckin' nice. It feels a little frontloaded, where the first few tracks outshine the stuff toward the end, but overall it's still pretty strong, all original production, though I'm not sure who did the beats. There's a few guest verses, including one by Kneel Knaris of PX (Parts Unknown), but for the most part it's all Rome Cee's show.

Rome Cee - "The Mask" (mp3)
Here's an example of what I like about this EP: this is the very first song, and dude just hits the ground running, rapping immediately and working in these crazy flow patterns and internal rhymes. You almost never hear a rap record start like that, and I wish it happened more often, it just grabs your attention so much better than some long-ass intro or a bunch of talking.

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Rome Cee is an artist that I have the pleasure to call a friend. I remember first hearing him spit and noting that this kid had alot to offer music. Intelligence beyond his years, a relevant story to offer and insight to channel it all into palateable music. Its because of artists like him, 810 and Sean Armstrong I feel comfortable observing the progression of the scene and not pushing the envelope with my pre-paid postage attached to it!
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