Rhymefest Highly Anticipated Album, Blue Collar Hits Stores Tomorrow!!!

“Fest’s personality radiates through moments of everyman empathy and
cocksure boasting. His taste in beats equally sharp, this LP rookie
already has a veteran’s touch.”

– SCRATCH

“…one of the most anticipated hip-hop albums of the year, Blue Collar.”
– TIME OUT CHICAGO

“…Rhymefest’s incisive storytelling and tart wit document and elevate working-class struggle.”
– LOS ANGELES TIME

“…With
Blue Collar, Rymefest sdesteps thug life for real life and proves that
image is nothing when it comes down to making good music.”

– XXL

“Blending
Kwli’s skills ans Kanyes’s accessibility, this Chicagoan’s debut is
hip-hop made fun. …His working class musings command throughout. Give
this man a raise!”

– KING

“Rhymefest’s cocky yet conscious debut, Blue Collar, is his rollicking, at time hilarious, entrance to the bigs.”
– SPIN

BLUE COLLAR
Allido/J Records
July 11, 2006

Lately
there seems to be a diversity of fresh sounds blowing in from the windy
city. From the head-nodding anthems of Kanye West to the corner stories
of Common to rapid-fire delivery of Twista, the mid-west city of
Chicago has been the motherland for a generation of premier rappers and
producers that can compete with any other spot on the hip-hop map.
Still, in order to stay at the zenith of their game, there has to be
another brother chilling in the wings who can flow with the best and
rock shows with the rest.

In 2005, that dude goes by the moniker
Rhymefest. Best known around Chi-Town as the kind of battle cat who can
make the competition squirm before even touching the mic, Rhymefest has
built a solid rep as one of mightiest mouths in that gritty city. “I’m
wacktose intolerant,” Rhymefest says. Yet, as the hulking brother
proves on his major-label debut Blue Collar, this new kid on the
hip-hop block has the skills to talk smack. “The entire concept behind
my project is to fight the wackness that rap has become.”

As
the co-writer and sample finder for Kanye West’s brilliant “Jesus
Walks,” one could say that Rhymefest is on a mission from God. “I’m one
of the only rappers to win a Grammy Award before recording my first
major label release,” Rhymefest jokes, though he has been grinding on
the scene since he was seventeen. “Now it’s time for me to bring my own
thing to the table.” Not new to this, Rhymefest released his first true
indie album Raw Dawg in 2001, which was mostly produced a then-unknown
Kanye.

Having teamed-up with homeboy producer No-I.D.,
dj/producer Mark Ronson, whose label Allido Records has a distribution
deal with J Records, the rest of the world will soon understand
Rhymefest’s master (rap) plan. Known for being simultaneously witty and
gritty, Rhymefest takes the best of old school humor from the Biz
Markie school, militancy from a Public Enemy class and creates his own
unique vocal persona. “There are enough people trying to be gangsters
without me going that route,” Rhymefest explains. “What we need in
hip-hop right now are rappers who are both truthful and entertaining.”

On
his debut single “Brand New,” produced by Kanye West, the sharp-tongued
rapper lays down his words over a delirious beat.  “Kanye and I were in
the studio, and he was playing me a few old beats,” Rhymefest
remembers. “My joke was, ‘Yo, I can take an old beat and make it sound
brand new.’ A few hours later, that was the song.”

While Blue
Collar features collaborations with singers Mario (“All Girls Cheat”)
and Carl Thomas (“L.S.D.”), it is the non-singing dazzle of the late
Old Dirty Bastard on “Build Me Up” that will warm ones heart. “We all
know that Dirty was a dope lyricist, but personally I though he was
even more skillful at singing,” Rhymefest assures, though one can’t be
sure if he’s joking or not.”

Produced by No-I.D., the song
“Fever” is a scorching single that conjures images of all-day block
parties on Beat Street, the dj jamming until the break of dusk and
children spinning on smooth cardboard. With a bugged sample of a
high-pitched Spanish chick singing the classic Peggy Lee penned torch
song, Rhymefest smiles. “Hey, I really just wanted to write a track
about how hot I am,” he says. “When I told No-I.D. the plan, and that
was track he pulled from the magic hat.”

Opening
with the sound of hardcore punk chaos, “Devil’s Pie” is a sleek
sounding Mark Ronson produced song. Utilizing the catchy D’Angelo
sample of the same name, Rhymefest uses the song to showcase the ills
of the world. From being broke as a dog to brothers being shattered in
the streets of Iraq to his own father being in jail, Rhymefest’s
compelling narrative is more addictive than crack. “Tell Satan I don’t
owe him a thing,” he spits.

Staying serious for a minute, the
most heart-wrenching song on Blue Collar is the track “Sister.” Taking
the listener in the desperate lives of “sisters” all over the world,
Rhymefest talks about levels of abuse that many women suffer. Over a
lounge piano riff, Rhymefest says firmly, “Can’t have trials without
tribulations.”

Like a lost episode of Good Times or deleted
scenes from Cooley High, this Southside native understands there is
nothing wrong with hard work, a few jokes with your boys over brews,
taking care of your kids and showing love to your lady. Indeed, it has
taken a rapper like Rhymefest and a debut like Blue Collar to show a
simple world just how complex a Black man can be.

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