Artist: Everliven Sound
Everliven Sound is made up of brothers CyMarshall Law and Skit Slam. These UK raised Jamaican’s came to The States in the early 90’s to bring countries together using music as the universal bridge. Starting in 2000 with a hit national radio single then creating their own record label Freedom Entertainment in 2001 the brothers proved to be making progress. Group member Skit Slam released an album with Englishmen in 2003 that received stellar reviews but nothing further until now. 2008’s release of Freedom is the groups first collaborate full album.
CyMarshall Law wrote “he wanted to bring back a memory of hip hop when people wanted to be B-Boy’s and Girls“. Freedom does evoke memories of what hip hop used to be. The vibe is very contagious but you notice on the title track “Freedom”, though the flow is on point, there isn’t really any substance to the lyrics. It’s sporadic phrases and thoughts spread out over snares, keyboard strokes and a monotone baseline. “What if “ featuring Wordsmith is much of the same mumbo jumbo that has nothing to do with anything.
“what if hot was cold and cold was hot/ rocks was gold and gold was rocks/ top was low and low was top/ pot was blow and blow was pot”
Ashanti’s poem book had more complexity than that. Just because you don’t understand him don’t mean that he’s nice. It just means you don’t understand all the bullshit that he writes. Freedom wasn’t pure bullshit but the bullshit was very prevalent.
“Dying Breed” and “Rush to the Front” were by far the shining gems in Freedom’s plethora of bullshit. With quotables such as
“ my rhymes are weed to a big pot head“
“when I’m rock wit you even Michael Jackson getting nosey”
“I get fly without a passport”
“bet against me is like being placed in the woods with LeatherFace”
“I spoil my fans like Hilary and Ashley….I’m loaded like Uncle Phil”
One wonders where was this vigor on the other 11 tracks. Freedom is a roller coaster that albums are commonly. “Dying Breed” and “Rush to the Front” are the most thrilling parts of that ride; hough they are composed of sporadic phrases. This is where consistency lingered along.
Albeit trying to revive hip hop is admirable, it seems Everliven Sound hasn’t inserted anything new into an already dead entity. The beats used on the album were “true hip hop beats” which just is unimaginative instruments that could have been produced in the 90’s. Yes the 90’s were the best commercial time for hip hop but there were various elements that Everliven Sounds forgot. They attempted to recreate 90’s allure yet subtracted the most important element called innovation. From 2pac, to Bad Boy, to Wu-tang all sounds were different from what people were used to hearing. It was a vibe that people became addicted to and are still looking for that high. Everliven Sounds attempts to deliver this high but Freedom was merely their placebo.