48 Months

Artist: The Unspoken HeardTitle: 48 MonthsRating: 4 StarsReviewed by: N. Context

“Anything worth having starts with a plan. Our plan was to make music, and to offer a different and honest perspective to the music. The ground work that we chose to lay the foundation of our plan is, in my opinion, quite revolutionary, simply because we chose to pluck our own hands from the deck, while others waited for the deal (pun intended)”-Asheru

Asheru and Blue Black of the Unspoken Heard, independently, have quietly been carving a niche for themselves which is beginning to have a resounding affect in the Hip-Hop community. From 1997 to present, they have toured world wide and have worked with a variety of artists from J-Live to Talib Kweli. If you haven’t heard of the Heard before, this is your second chance to get a first impression. Following up their 2001 debut album Soon Come, 48 Months is an anthology of recordings from 96-2000 “for all those cats that didn’t catch our stuff prior to Soon Come.”

From their first EP release Cosmology to the release of the Jamboree EP, 48 Months embodies The Heard’s continuing efforts at creating “that straight up Hip Hop. Right down the middle. Not too far to the right that we get ignorant. We are not too far to the left that you can’t rock our jams in the club.” With tracks like “Jamboree” and “The Music” they give you anthem resonating songs that can be played anywhere from the clubs to family reunions. “Nigga Like Me” showcases Blue Black and Asheru’s emceeing skills with their ability to flip flows and effortlessly pass the mic. On “Setting Sun”, Blue Black breaks down the unspoken conversation between father and son as the son watches the father die. This is the other perspective to his “From Sun up to Sun down”; telling the same story but from the Son’s view.

Besides featuring The Heard’s earlier EP released songs, the album contains never before released tracks. “SoulJamboree” is a funky remix of “Jamboree” with the horns chopped up and the piano loop shortened with Asheru spitting different verses from his rhyme book. “Smiley Soul Dub Version” is an up tempo, house instrumental remix which can bump in your car, stereo or headphones. “How Ya Living” is the extension to “Trackrunners” where you are privy to Asheru, Grap Luva, J-Live and Sondia freestyling (not prewritten but free spittin’) over a hand clap and then beat box.

Without a doubt 48 Months is a solid “prequel” collection of The Heard’s work. The songs flow effortlessly into one another exhibiting their varying styles and subject matter. If you are longing for that 90’s Hip Hop feel this is where it’s at. “File our records in the, ‘I remember when shit was good this sounds like some early 90’s positive he got rhymes he got beats he’s mad cool I saw him at SOB’s that artwork is ill my girl likes this my mom likes this my pops knows that sample this is funky this is hard I put this on on my way to work I put this on when I’m at the gym I could bang this in my man’s system stop listening to that b.s this is what’s up’ Hip Hop section”

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