dateofb|rth is a hip-hop artist who recently released an exceptional album entitled Figure 8. I don’t know much about his history, accomplishments or even his real name but Figure 8 is one of those hip-hop albums that combine intellectual rhymes, inventive music and an original delivery.
One thing I do know is what the album is about. According to the artist Figure 8 is a concept dealing with the circular nature of a father figure from one generation to the next as well as the effects of our childhood experiences on our subconscious.
Each track has slightly different energy or vibe. Regardless the production is top notch. Take for instance the opener “Silhouette” which revolves around upbeat funk that doesn’t sound too far away from James Brown. I loved the sax he incorporates into the song. The lyrics he drops on this song are poetic, original and just plain fun to listen too. I wish there was a lyric sheet for these songs because he mentions everything from Cassius Clay to Nature vs. Nurture to Marlboro Reds.
The title track is a chill song that made me feel like I was in an opium den. I was almost entranced by the lyrics and melody. It has a very hypnotic effect. Then there is “40 and a Civic” that features a myriad of different vocal styles and effects while “Lay You Down” contains words that are spit out faster than the groove. “Sugar High” has an ethereal atmospheric quality that would float away if it weren’t for the beat. Lyrically, the song ties in a lot of concepts about a being a father.
The music on “Hypoglycemic” sounds like it would work on a Bjork album. It is arguably the highlight of the album. He closes with “Bottle Baby” which has an aggressive vocal delivery. It worked out well and was a great closer.
This album from beginning to end has a great flow that is undeniable. I’m not going to pick apart the lyrics but I will tell you that they can be ambiguous, poignant and thought-provoking. Highly recommended.
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