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Tuesday, Apr 06 2004 | 19:01

It’s not everyday that a MC who prides himself on his talent for creating feel-good vibes mixed with intelligent lyricism can cut through the clutter of a hip-hop scene dominated by gangsta-influenced melodies and infectious Southern bounce basslines / beats.

It is for this reason that it’s impossible to ignore the moves that Approach has made in his hometown of Kansas City. A lot has happened in the short time since he first decided to take his appreciation for all music and shape it into something creative of his own. Three Klammy (Kansas City/Lawrence area music award) nominations, three MC battle championships and countless live shows later (including 2 midwest tours with Atmosphere), Approach shows no signs of slowing down. This MC/Producer has seen his love for hip hop reincarnate itself in many creative forms and musical styles. His first EP, a lyrically introspective and deeply melodic collaboration with the R.E. (Krisna Best) entitled “The Web of Thought”, slowly led the way to his experimentation with live instrumentation during his hi-energy shows.

Now, with his newest effort “Ultraproteus“, Approach amply demonstrates that he has an ear for making beats that combine the best of 70’s funk and the rhythms of classic soul music. In addition, listeners will hear exactly how Approach’s musical influences are reflected in his creation, from his admiration of Jimi Hendrix’s innovation, to Madlib’s creativity, to Mos Def’s high level of expressiveness. Creative inspirations such as the Black Eyed Peas, Jay Dee (Slum Village), Thelonius Monk and James Brown create a glimpse of the direction Approach plans to take in the future as he hones his craft. While developing as a writer and finding his niche in the production realm are both important, Approach makes it known that what he really wants is to be appreciated for creatively pushing the envelope and making the independent hip-hop sound more accessible to a greater spectrum of the listening audience. With goals this expansive, Approach’s perspective on Ultraproteus makes perfect sense … He wants his audience to view this as only one step on his musical voyage … a reflection of where he has been and what is to come.

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