Up Pops The SAC

Artist: Starving Artist CrewTitle: Up Pops The SACRating: 3 StarsReviewed by: Dev 1

We are all acquainted with Detroit by the likes of Eminem, D-12, Slum Village, and Royce da 5’9”. However there is something new brewing from the depths of the underground. Enter the Starving Artists Crew with their album Up Pops the SAC. At a time when industry heads have forgotten what steps were taken to even bring Hip-Hop to its point of world renowned commercialism, the Starving Artist Crew replenishes some of Hip-Hops sacred roots. Hailing from The Motor City; SAC provides a history lesson and demonstrates the Midwest’s ability to become a unifying medium between two coasts. They do this by paying homage to some of Hip-Hop’s most notorious legends from the east and west coast while bringing it all together to create a vintage “ol skool” album.

SP, IQ, Brainstorm, and DJ Phizyx have merged to form a formidable force within today’s underground. After years of selling tapes and performing locally, SAC dropped Artistry Original in 2001 and received immediate underground recognition. Since then, in 2003, the single “Motivate”, solidified SAC’s attempts to bring the back to basics approach to Hip-Hop and also caught the eye of Fat Beats Records. It was easy to see the potential of SAC, due to their classical sound and throw-back lyrical approach.

Remember when breakbeats fused with avant-garde, funk, jazzy undertones and lyrics based on “skills” (not the most materialistic item one could think of) made a dope album? Or how about the days when every other word wasn’t a curse word? Up Pops the SAC presents an important message about the love of the music and creative artistry. Not only do they break away from current commercial trends, they create crafty songs with strong vocabulary.

The epitome of what SAC does is encapsulated on “B-Boy Buffet” where they big up some of Hip-Hops most historical names in order to describe dishes on a menu at a fictional restaurant. It’s original and sounds like the ultimate homage paying track by which they seek to explain the ingredients used to create a style collage of an album. The track itself should remind you of the album Low End Theory by A Tribe Called Quest or Organix by The Roots because of the use of an organ over the simplest of drum kicks. “Feed the Homeless”, “Organic Chemistry” and “Five Day Trippin” are other noteworthy tracks because of their more modernized lyrical structure. On “The Promise”, SAC shows us the art of breath control and riding beats. DJ Phizyx supplies the illest scratches that are sure to bring about a sense of nostalgia for the purest.

Up Pops the SAC is a dope album, no doubt, but they could have carried out their mission without relying so much upon the strength of past sounds. Although, SAC shows flashes of lyrical brilliance, the majority of their lyrics are just too simple. SAC just doesn’t exhibit a lyrical format that shows how far Hip-Hop has progressed since the mid-eighties. The listener should not be able to say that every song on an album sounds like something of the past or combinations of different items of the past. After all, Hip-Hop is about using what is old to create something new and original. At the same time, Up Pops the SAC could be complex for one who only knows about getting crunk, sipping sizzurp, and dropping it like its hot.

For the young heads that have no clue what this music is about, they should definitely cop this album; even if it serves only as a library of names and references. For those of us that grew up through the eras and phases of Hip-Hop, Up Pops the SAC may be redundant at times but since we’ve been bombarded by the present form of commercialism; it may serve to help one reflect and say “Word, those were the days!” Nevertheless, SAC is an act that possesses skills and respect for the music and Up Pop the SAC is worth adding to your library.