The rhymes, the beats, the samples – where to begin? Starranko has indefinitely established himself as a success story in the making on The Manhattan Project. The rap world could use a guy like this, with conscious material and real talent at spitting and weaving poetry into his mic skills. He has fresh musical elements and everything has a touch of “from scratch” to it, nothing overly polished or catered toward a certain audience, especially not the roll over easy formula for club jams. Think Macklemore had he been more prominently inspired by the early ‘90s brand of hip-hop.
There’s plenty of tastes to his sound ranging from instrumentation driven def jam raps, to simplified synth hook grinders and even some classy use of obscure and appropriate sampling. That technique never gets old for me. You can’t resist the lovely juxtaposition of hard-hitting rhymes and sunshine melodies voiced with vintage appeal and dipped in the peaceful waters of ‘60s trends.
Such is the case on “Gucci” with that chopped and manipulated little hook line over the top of Starranko’s flow. It has a great mix of light and grit that makes it perfect for a wide range of listeners. I could bang this in my car for almost all my friends and they would nod their heads. Solid track. The opener “Halleluajah” has an older quality a la Beastie Boys with lyrical arrangements like Three Six Mafia. “Halle Berry, Hallelujah” doesn’t exactly make resonant sense to me but I dig it hard. That’s some clever writing and it leaves an impression.
I heard some Kanye West styling on “Peacemaker,” which worked nicely through slightly sung passages and wavering intonation at syllabic breaks for emphasis. It’s hard not to subconsciously borrow sounds from a guy who has reinvented the game.
“Real Love” is a tight club track that has the right amount of edge to get people a little freaky. I wasn’t as impressed with “Howard Hughes” only due to the fact that I recognized all the GarageBand loops used. Not that that is inherently bad, but it was so obvious and not constructed in any unique way separate from the original. The track still bumps and the loops used are great choices, so most people won’t have an issue with it. The Manhattan Project is some of the best underground work I’ve heard and deserves some attention. Don’t think twice and dive in.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook