Gnormen Insanate Baites – Production 9401

Gnormen Insanate Baites - Production 9401 Artist: Gnormen Insanate Baites

Album: Production 9401

Label: Unlimited Vinyl Ink

Rating: 3.5/5

Take one look at the cover of the debut CD for Gnormen
Insanate Baites (not to mention just his name alone) and you might wonder if
this guy is trying to become an unofficial member of the GraveDiggaz. The
cover, which is presented on a DVD case as opposed to a traditional CD case,
features a spooky looking old house in disrepair with subwoofers, wires and
cobwebs poking out everywhere. Add to that the fact that the title of the CD,
Production 9401, was the original title to the classic thriller “Psycho ” and
you’re already rolling your eyes at the thought of yet another ¬Ç√Ñ√≤horrorcore’
casualty. In a sense you would be correct. Insanate is not a top-notch emcee.
But what makes the CD at all above average is Insanate’s writing and production
skills, the strength of the Unlimited Vinyl Ink (UV) family as a whole and the
bonus footage. The entire CD, from the intro to the end, centers on an exit
interview from a mental ward. The interludes consist of Insanate and the staff
discussing how he got to be in the mental ward and the songs are basically
flashbacks. The CD is meant to be enjoyed as a movie-type experience. Insanate
even calls the songs scenes instead of tracks.

As mentioned before, Insanate is not going to blow you away
with his flow. In fact, on just about every track that features guest
appearances from UV fam members, Baites is clearly outmatched. Insanate
enunciates well and you can hear his intention and passion behind every word,
but he rarely seems able to harmoniously blend his flow to the beat. That is
quite interesting considering that Insanate mixed or produced a number of the
tracks on Production 9401. It just shows that Insanate has a way to go as far
as being a polished emcee and for now he’s better behind the boards than behind
the mic.

Insanate’s board skills are impressive. “Boosted (Team UV) ”
was produced by Insanate and has a very crisp movie soundtrack type quality
that is quite fitting to the theme and to the braggadocio spewed by the litany
of UV members featured on this track. The percussion, violin and horns bring a
somewhat unique sound for hip hop and provide the sensation of steady action
and the anticipation of more to come. Insanate co-mixed “Virtually Unknown “, an
inside look at being an underground emcee, featuring The Natur’l. This is
another stand out track and contains perhaps Insanate’s best verse on the CD.
Natur’l’s verse is full of easy swagger and cleverness and the beat is
attractive because it seems familiar yet different at the same time. The
downside to this track is the weak hook. It’s awkward and not well paced.

Awkward hooks plague a few more tracks on Production 9401,
namely “Days Go By ” and “Die Wack Emcees Die “. “Days Go By ” is an attempt to
bring a little r & b to the CD, but it just doesn’t work well. You get the
impression that it’s supposed to be a feel good, wind blowin’ in your hair,
flowy, Les Nubians type hook, but it just ends up sounding tired and forced.
One of the few tracks that is actually in the ¬Ç√Ñ√≤horrorcore’ vein is “Die Wack
Emcees Die “. The hook is intentionally goofy and over the top, but it comes
off as stale, adolescent type humor.

“Flow Business ” featuring Substantial and produced by
Algorythm is perhaps the best track on the CD. The beat is almost hypnotic in
it’s methodical march to your eardrums. Even though this is not Insanate’s best
flow, his superior writing skills are showcased on this song. He details the
trials and tribulations of life as an emcee somewhere between the underground
and the mainstream. “KNB ” and “The Last One ” are the ¬Ç√Ñ√≤love’ songs on the CD and
in a strange way, they are actually somewhat moving and sentimental not to
mention both have very solid beats produced by Algorythm.

Besides the writing, production and lyrical skills of the UV
family, another compelling aspect of the CD is the bonus feature. There is an
hour of video footage from a UV Ink performance. The footage really highlights
the talents of the entire UV family and makes you want to get tickets to their
next show. Providing the live footage was an excellent marketing tactic and
should be utilized more often by underground emcees. Also included as a bonus
are 3 songs that didn’t quite make the final cut for the CD along with
interviews with Insanate himself. It’s nice to hear Insanate talk about how and
why Production 9401 came about and you get to see what an intelligent,
articulate young man he is. Insanate’s skills as a producer and writer far
outweigh his skills as an emcee, but if Production 9401 is any indication of
his character and drive, I’m sure he will step up his game and match his
lyrical ability to his creative potential.

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