Many of Detroit’s emerging MCs are determined to bestow continual prominence upon the city’s name after 2006 saw the departure of the late great production wizard Jay Dee. Stones Throw Records is a crusade to keep Dilla’s legacy alive or recognizing good fiscal opportunities as the label continues to join forces with his underground cohorts. Guilty Simpson is the amongst the latest of subterranean sensations from The D; staking his claim on Ode To The Ghetto (Stones Throw).
Guilty Simpson brings a unique style to Hip-Hop, combining a milquetoast delivery with vicious bars threatening one to test his mettle. His seemingly lazy style of rapping would almost make one think he doesn’t care, until a close listen displays a great amount of heart pumped into his verses found on Run (If you got problems / Get geeked / Get beat / Get shot / Get sleep).
The album finds Guilty blessed with production from some of the underground’s finest sound providers. Mr. Porter brings a hard west coast bounce with “Robbery, as Madlib comes with a rock leaning track different from his normal fare with “The Future;” but then proceeds to flip the script with “Yikes” which sounds like something straight of a horror movie.
‘Lib’s younger brother Oh No is responsible for “Footwork” which sounds like a Dilla tribute in the raucous fashion that would have done him proud, and “I Must Love You;” done by Dilla himself, serves as a reminder of why there will never be another James Yancey. Detroit’s MC/producer wunderkind Black Milk comes with his trademark soulful knock for “The Real Me, giving Guilty Simpson a chance to wax introspective about the streets.
Ode To The Ghetto is a tale that deserves to be heard, as Guilty Simpson is provided with beats that perfectly mesh with his gritty perspective on the microphone. Guilty’s long awaited debut should please those who have already followed his career, and for newcomers it serves as a welcome introduction to what lies in the heart of Detroit’s laid back beast.