Thursday, May 14, 2020

Cassette Review //
Labal-S
"The Last Upper"
(Bloody Monk Consortium)


$10 //
Edition of 25 //
https://bloodymonkconsortium.bandcamp.com/album/the-last-upper //

From Benny the Butcher to Wu Tang Clan, there are influences both past and present you can compare Labal-S with, but overall this is just generating it owns sound within the realm of hip-hop.   Because of this being on Bloody Monk Consortium (and the general vibe of the music) I think Wu Tang because it feels like that type of music you might pair with old kung fu films which, yes, I've watched far too many of in my lifetime.

Sometimes this one hits hard.  Shoutout to the name dropping of Ted Dibiase.  As you could likely tell by the title- "The Last Upper"- this is about drugs as much as anything else.  Maybe it's hip-hop, maybe it's me (maybe it's a combination of both) but I've always felt like there was a place to rap about drugs and since Dr. Dre really made a name for himself as a solo artist and brought out Snoop Dogg it feels like we haven't heard about as many people rapping about drugs anymore.

And it's not that rap has to present a more positive message because some of these songs out there are about just such stupid things.   It's one of the reasons why I won't listen to rap music on the radio and I know they're not about the drugs (or at least not singing about it)  So there is something to be said for drug culture as it relates to music on the whole but also hip-hop and in many places weed is legal now so it's not as dangerous to say "Let's get high and listen to this" but it still is good that it can be said.

This cassette can also make me think of clipping. who is one of my favorite modern artists- not just in hip-hop but overall.   There is just that idea of this being filled with murder anthems.   These are not the type of songs you want to run into after dark when you're walking down a street by yourself.    But I like that this feels dangerous too.   We got to this point in life where music became accessible to everyone so someone thought it should sound like that but that simply is not true.

A space of music- not a genre but a mindset- needs to still exist where not everybody listens to it.   Maybe the person is afraid or maybe they say "It's just not for me" but I think we do need music, especially in 2020, that makes certain people feel uncomfortable.   People have become almost immune to "shock tv" in such a way that we need to go back to that place where music can come out of your speakers and a stranger walking by can actually stop and say "What did he just say?"  And I truly believe that Labal-S is helping to take us there.









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