Monday, March 30, 2009

Emanon "Acid Nine" EP (1998)

Emanon's EP is an example of late-90's indie hip-hop that worked -- three of four cuts (not counting the instrumentals) are worthy of rotation over a decade later. This record has enough support that you can find it posted (Grant P ripped the cassette last month), but for those that are still sleeping on Aloe Blacc & Exile's early effort, here's a high-quality vinyl rip:

Another record that is more hippie than hard-rock, you've got Exile's well-chosen, oddly familiar (but not played) samples paired with Aloe Blacc's literate wordplay. It's not hard to see why this played the back in an era when Busta's cartoonishness was at its peak; the gem here ("Personification") is Aloe's meditation on existing as a tree, soil, the ocean, the wind...yeah.

A lot of mc's will rhyme about climbing through the depths of their mind, but you have to respect Aloe & Exile for pulling this off. Exile's flute loop (I'm giving Exile the credit here but DJ Cheapshot was also on the beats) perfectly sets the mood, and the chill break gives it the right lift to ensure head-nodding. Aloe's thesis expands on a familiar theme:

I am a rock, I am an island, I am the wind, I am a moon
I am a drum, I am a violin, I am the sound, I am a tune

That might not hit you as crazy wordplay, but the flow here is about the larger conceptual piece which is worth the effort to digest. The track itself isn't too densely packed with lyrics, and manages to roll through a few sax interludes while clocking in at 5 1/2 minutes.

"Acid-9" (the remix of the title track, "Asinine") is worth checking for one of the more abstract 'fuck wack mc's' cuts you'll hear, over a tightly constructed track; "Path of the Divine" is more abstractness at a quicker pace.

Includes "Asinine", "Acid-9", "Path of the Divine", and "Personification" as well as instrumentals for the latter three -- really, the ones you want.