There is a certain subset of the rap community that spends all too much time pining for hip hop’s Golden Age. This group of artists and fans is constantly accusing today’s rappers of somehow being untrue to the great ideals of hip hop. To a large extent these guys are right to criticize the current climate of mainstream rap. A good heap of today’s most popular artists offer little more than a misogynistic catchphrase over a bass-heavy beat, and a ton of hype. Hype can be most comparable to investing in stocks really. You look into artists and find out which can be successful, and then you buy into the hype and see if your investment blossoms.
You really have to do your homework, and even then unforsaken events might happen and might change your investment. Trumane is a songwriter and performer from San Diego CA, who comes with no hype. He creates mainly in Hip-hop and Rap, but is able to work within any genre.
The artist brings along his latest mixtape, entitled “Maddd Since Birth!!!” that shows his true musical abilities, not catchy hooks and jumpy beats. Part of what makes this recording so enjoyable is that unlike a lot of underground rappers criticizing the mainstream for not saying anything of substance, while they themselves really aren’t saying much of substance either, is that Trumane has something to say.
Sure if you’re coming here looking for glossy beats and perfection cinematic production, you’ve come to the wrong place. “Maddd Since Birth!!!” is built on its narratives which in turn are surrounded by beats which almost sit in the background. Although sometimes , on tracks like “Diss”, Trumane infuses his flow and rhyme deep into the rhythm.
In fact, each track sees Trumane’s voice right up front in the mix. And this takes a bit of getting used to, before you settle into the flow of the mixtape. Even on funky bass-driven tracks like “OldsKool”, “G-Funk” and “Soulful”, Trumane is up in your face with his freestyling vocal groove. “Maddd Since Birth!!!” shows Trumane musically free and happy, something we don’t get to see with label artists tied to formulas and boundaries.
It tries to take you back to the good times when hip hop was more focused on making interesting music, and it sure does succeed. Trumane certainly believes there is a void in the hip hop world for what he has to say musically. And he says it in some eclectic, left-field ways, on tracks like “Catch A Vibe” and “ImAStar!!!”
“Maddd Since Birth!!!” is hip hop that needs to be digested. This is another reason it stands out in the current hip hop landscape. Rap is a genre that thrives on immediacy. Most of the best singles, mixtapes or albums are the ones that just jump off the shelves at listeners.
But once in a while it is nice to hear somebody like Trumane deliver a more complex, against-the-grain, piece work that takes a lot more time to grow on you. If you’re into mainstream sounds and production values, you probably won’t even like this on the first listen.
Trumane has recognized that the genre needed a diversion from its own norm to keep its fire burning, and like any worthy artist should, he delivers us twelve tracks of quaint originality that finds its peak in “Calling” and “Timeless”.