Lines In Wax

TWELVE YEARS OF UNWANTED OPINION

Month: December 2014

Esham – KKKill The Fetus (1993)

Esham – KKKill The Fetus (1993)

I’ve really been digging Esham recently. Well, I’ve always loved this guy (one of the few positive things to come out of my teenage obsession with ICP) but I discovered that a whole bunch of his albums are streaming on Spotify, which is absolutely great news because a ton of his early works contained a pile of uncleared sampling and are therefore seemingly forever confined to the “out of print” section of music industry hell. Asides from downloading some awful torrent files or picking up an overpriced CD when it sprang up on eBay or Discogs, Youtube was the only way to really hear these old Esham gems. Until now. I’m sure this sample-thievery will catch up with The Boogeyman sooner or later though (edit: Closed Casket, my favourite Esham record, has already disappeared off Spotify). KKKill The Fetus is a close second though, in degrees of “Tha Wicket Shit”. Perhaps unsurprisingly, KKKill The Fetus is a dark and somewhat vulgar hip hop record that gives off puzzling overtones of violence and misogyny. This is acid rap after all, but I fear sometimes Esham’s message is clouded in an attempt to be shocking and offensive; in his early work, at least. The title-track is a perfect example, what should indicate a full support of a woman’s choice to terminate or not becomes a hamfisted hatefuck of an attack against the black lower class, and seems almost to glorify or even revel in the actual process of killing a fetus. Granted, Esham can say what the fuck he likes – it’s his album – but I’m getting mixed messages here. If you’ve not heard Esham before this older material can be pretty abrasive compared to most hip hop (and no, hipsters; not in the way that Death Grips does it). The entire ICP sound can be attributed to “Game Of Death” featuring Mastamind. To be honest, the similarities here are uncanny. “Game Of Death” could easily have been on one of the first ICP records. It’s easy to see how Esham has turned bitter towards the duo in recent years, as they basically built their success off of his and his peer’s backs. Nevertheless, this is a pillar in the history of underground hip hop. Without this record there’d may well be no Eminem, and most definitely no Insane Clown Posse.

Emeralds – Does It Look Like I’m Here? (2010)

Emeralds – Does It Look Like I’m Here? (2010)

‘Scuse the lack of posting guys and gals – it’s that time of year again where I fall off. Just had to drop in to share this post though; one of the most positive and uplifting records I’ve heard in a while. I’ve been craving fresh, new musical experiences lately in amongst flying about being mental-busy, and I’ve been journeying to musical realms that I’ve rarely touched up in the past. I heard of Emeralds for the first time in, of all places, a Pitchfork top 100 list. Bored in work one day I did a drive-by sweep of their 100 best between 2010-2014, and tried to pick out stuff that looked interesting, perplexing, awesome or just not-too-hipstery. Emeralds was one of those bands. Whilst the fact that it appeared in a Pitchfork listing in the first place doesn’t do much to defend it’s non-hipster credentials, I don’t really give a shit because Does It Look Like I’m Here? is one of the nicest things I’ve heard in a while. It is a composition, a series of miniature musical scores, that really bring in some fantastic vibes and feels throughout the entire album. The songs flow with immense fluidity, and the long, bubbling synthesizer passages are nothing short of complete audible delight. This is watching a city come alive at 5am music. This is power-walking through that final 100 meters to the mountain peak kinda music. I’d also say that this is pretty cerebral and would recommend it for tripping too, as it’s extremely immersive and enveloping without being at all threatening or aggressive.