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Typical Cats return, the last of the great true school crews—bearers of transformed tradition, innovators par excellence, and heralds of an undying devotion to the science and magic of boom bap music. The latest installment in the TC saga is 3, their third studio full-length. It plays like a message in a bottle from Hip Hop's timeless present to the bizarre post-physical, digital, viral world in which we live. DJ Natural's production chops have only deepened with time, and the rugged loops of the self-titled "Orange Album" and the live instrumentation of Civil Service have melded to yield a mélange of soul, jazz, funk, roots, radical politics, and a sly refusal to bend to the dictates of current fashion. Kid Knish reprises his role as hip hop's all-time greatest unseen crew member (sorry, Jarobi), serving up samples, historical references, and vinyl oddities for Natural to slice and serve as android slabs of production genius.
TC's trio of MCs—Qwel, Denizen Kane, and Qwazaar—rhyme like men breathing from the soles of their feet. The basis of their legend is in full effect—crackling chemistry, unnerving flow, and true stories. The album plays like a jazz-era cutting session turned confessional booth, a stylistically freewheeling effort threaded together by moments of revelation, underpinned by fiercely focused production and dominated by stories of journey, moments of transformation, and warnings against coming catastrophe. For TC, the MC is a misunderstood figure, a musical seer, a minor prophet, and reluctant hustler, using words to outwit enemies, trump circumstances, and emerge from the belly of the beast with respect and rent money.
Highlights abound—Kane returning to his spoken word roots on "Denizen Walks Away," Qwel giving his early battle rap classics a run for their money on nickel-plated platters like "My Watch" and "Gordeon Knock," and Qwazaar flexing uncanny musical intuition, anchoring the record with meditative efforts on "Puzzling Thing" and "Reflections from the Porch" before pummeling tracks like "Better Luck" and "On My Square." Although the LP is studded with solo shots, crew tracks are the soul of the record. "On My Square" opens with a flurry of horns before exploding into an array of signature styles—multisyllabic combinations from Qwel, laid-back but incisive chatting from Kane, and a classic Qwa verse full of declarations, threats, and witticisms, all cemented by a Qwel chorus imbued with requisite layers of meaning. Natural's production evolves with each verse, sliding from Meters style guitars with knocking drums to moody keys with ease.
The first single, "The Crown" is a frenetic display of jagged guitars and style-shifting that makes it a perfect complement to the Orange Album's classic "Reinventing." The name, however, is something of a misnomer. TC have never been interested in being kings. They've been griots shouting from the village limits, stoning the village idiots, interrupting thieves, and solidifying sterling reputations as rappers' rappers, smokers' smokers, underground Gs, tribal chiefs. There will never be another Typical Cats. They leave the set like five men exiting a burning building, leaving wrecked stages and a catalog of classics in their wake. With their exodus, we find ourselves suddenly grown, having come of age with the culture, standing, as always, at the crossroads. With the music, we move like Gayle Sayers, howl like Magic Sam, see the city like a kid on the project bench, and mark it all down in a black book that will never close. It is what it is. Forever.
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Average Visitor Rating:
Total Comments: 15
Name: a_ronious (UGHH Staff) (Posted: 11/10/2012 1:58:00 PM; Partial IP: .119.89.28) Location: UGHH World HQ Comment: another classic release from TC & G4, pure hip hop at its essence fueled by funky ass beats and 3 of the Chi's illest emcees bringing mad stylistic diversity and versatility. its always hard to compete with an album like the Typical Cats self titled debut, in my opinion one of the greatest indie hip hop albums ever made; however the Cats have continued to become a much more unified cohesive group with this and Civil Service instead of solo artists working together. Represent tha real yall!
Name: Dub (Posted: 11/4/2012 5:10:00 PM; Partial IP: 199.205.55) Location: SFC Comment: This right here is uncut dope hip hop. Has to be front runner for Album of Year, it hits on so many levels. Galapagos4 gets mad mad dap
Name: SiN (Posted: 9/24/2012 8:10:00 PM; Partial IP: .8.206.246) Location: heLL Comment: Dope, the cats are back .
Name: TheBALL (Posted: 9/24/2012 1:52:00 PM; Partial IP: 130.197.10) Location: Wow Soapboxin'... Comment: I know who I am...even online and I ain't you, likewise you ain't me, Pussy. I, the real me... says Qwel is DEFINITELY dope... been waitin' for these cats to drop. Hate how I am so fly that even in a forum pansies want to be me but we can't both skull phuk your mom. I am flattered. Not racist but certainly culturally aware and I had a white guy at my crib the other day... Why you so bitter dog? Who put cum in your baby bottle???? Might have been the same cat who taught you alllll of the NOTHING you know about HipHop. Not angry at ALL... just funnier when the banter creeps. We won't fight b/c we won't meet, you know cuz we're online but... TheseNuts youngster. I will dip them for you to kill the brine.
Name: CHILD OF 90S (Posted: 9/17/2012 8:33:00 PM; Partial IP: 44.105.238) Location: cali Comment: hellllll yahhh thats how workin n tha radio
Name: Denisen Kane (Posted: 9/11/2012 11:39:00 PM; Partial IP: 18.104.22.168) Location: China Buffet Comment: Assho Asssho Fuck you round eye's!! Album gonna be straight dylan 6 chicken wings fried hard niggy for real.
Name: McNulty (Posted: 9/6/2012 6:44:00 PM; Partial IP: 33.142.230) Location: Miami, USA Comment: Cant wait! If anything on this album is as good as "Snake Oil", I'll be shocked
Name: TheBALL (Posted: 8/31/2012 10:41:00 PM; Partial IP: 134.27.177) Location: Trendy obscure Comment: PS- I would literally suck Qwel's dick for an advanced copy. Straight up. I would suck Qwazaar's dick, but I'm slightly racist. Denizen fucking sucks. Fuck him.
Name: Winters (Posted: 8/28/2012 9:56:00 PM; Partial IP: 22.214.171.124) Location: Denver Comment: Fuck yea!! I feel like I've been waiting forever for a new TP album. I figured Qwel, Qwa, and Denizen would just be doing their solo thing from now on. Hopefully it's another classic like the self-titled album.
Name: J-Mart (Posted: 8/28/2012 6:26:00 PM; Partial IP: .96.102.19) Location: Boulder Comment: Use to just wait for the Qwel verse on the old Cats shit, but then I listened to the Batsauce Qwazaar joints and I AM HYPED for this isht!
Name: g (Posted: 8/15/2012 7:22:00 PM; Partial IP: 74.246.202) Location: 210 tejas Comment: I heard the mix for this album. Absolute fire. Don't forget to give props to DJ Natural.
Name: abso (Posted: 8/15/2012 3:53:00 PM; Partial IP: .176.67.87) Location: 303 Comment: Can't wait for this. Qwel and Maker have been killing it, Qwazaar and Batsauce have been killing it. This will be dope.
Name: TheBALL (Posted: 8/15/2012 11:10:00 AM; Partial IP: .37.171.52) Location: This should be nice... Comment: Qwel is a beast on the mic. Plain and simple. Anyone? Good. Patience my friends. Should be good.
Name: Dark Soul (Posted: 8/13/2012 7:40:00 PM; Partial IP: .161.55.40) Location: San Fran Comment: This is hip hop in raw form, this should be a solid album.
Name: Matt (Posted: 8/12/2012 4:32:00 AM; Partial IP: 95.148.236) Location: Boston, MA Comment: Can't Wait! Qwel is an incredible artist!
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