Thursday, November 25, 2010
Came across this one by accident. Copped the full mixtape, Renaissance Gangster, at the start of the year at the behest of a friend and it lived up to the hype he gave it. Its a really cohesive and quality project and deserves all the praise that came its way. Burn One continued his winning streak, not only as a great mixtape DJ (he doesnt say a thing, only the occasional and discrete tag from time to time) but also as a producer for the entire project. Its a truly slept on tape for 2010.
However then something happened. I forgot about it...
Despite the occasional post I came across, or a reminder from my friend, it kinda sank to the back of my mind in a year of hip hop for me that was dominated by Curren$y, Kanye, Big KRIT, Freeway, Yelawolf, Jay Electronica, that amazing Lupe tape from the end of last year.... Plus it seemed at the time that Pill was probably the surer bet for success. Cynical yes, but as stated in other posts, I only got so many hours in the day to listen to music. Sometimes things get left behind.
So after a chance revisit to the Q-Tip album left Renaissance Gangster up into my iTunes list, tape standout Happy To Be Here snuck up on me. Sonically it's reminiscent of Da Art of Storytellin' Pt4 if Dre and Big Boi were possessed with melancholy rather than a desire to light a fire under the rap world. The raps are lethargic yet wise, giving them a weight usually missing from standard rap mixtape fare.
Ultimately what got me though was the chorus. While intended to be an affirmation of still being alive despite the conditions, it came across to me as as an ironic take on his situation. Like who could possibly want to be here out of all places? When one could be elsewhere? Like showing up to a party and having to say the right things. Its a sentiment I can relate to these days.
Starlito - Happy To Be Here
Starlito & Burn One - Renaissance Gangster - iTunes, show some support.