No Edge Ups in South Africa

Artist: 7 Heads R Better Than 1Title: No Edge Ups in South AfricaRating: 4 StarsReviewed by: aqua boogie

The kind people over at 7Heads Recordings have blessed us with another stellar offering with their latest compilation, No Edge Ups in South Africa. The album is the first in a series of albums (7 Heads R Better Than 1) dedicated to offering exclusive tracks from the Brooklyn based indie label’s ever growing catalog. The kooky title is an inside joke resulting from enlightening incidents experienced by friends while visiting South Africa. But, the music is on this album is serious as a bad haircut.

Asheru from Unspoken Heard continues to win over listeners when he teams with Talib Kweli on “Mood Swing.” Buttery smooth lyrics from both supa emcees are caressed by its subtly hypnotic beat which chops John Coltrane and Duke Ellington’s “In a Sentimental Mood.” The discs highlight may be the now years old b-side “Trackrunners”, a live freestyle session which includes Asheru, Grap Luva and J-Live sharing mic detail. 7Heads sincere dedication to quality hip-hop is on display with all family members making contributions; particularly freestyle phenom Wordsworth (“Backstage”), El De Sensei (“Full Blown”) and J-Live (“Say Cheese”). The aforementioned are all prominent undergrounds artist and they receive stiff competition from the newcomers on the disc including 7Heads initiate Audessey of Mass Influence on “Nightshift” and especially on his spaghetti Western flavored “The Gusto” featuring Apple Jac.

J Live says it best on his rare “Braggin Writes Dome Cracker Remix” when he kicks: “I been fly since America had thirteen states.” All at once he’s witty, confident and arrogant-hip-hop.

Passive listeners of underground music (the kind who believe picking up Talib Kweli and Common albums make them ‘purists’) would benefit from giving No Edge Ups in South Africa an attentive listen. Tight up your hairline and trim your goatee because this music is fresh.