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Monday, Mar 17 2008 | 11:45 Buy this now at GoodToGo (B2B)

Guilty Simpson’s “Ode To The Ghetto” debut album is a bone-crushing sonic sucker punch straight from the gritty city streets of Detroit. Thanks to ferocious displays at open mic battles, on mixtapes, and various venomous guest verses – as well as J Dilla’s public endorsement as one of his favourite rappers – Guilty Simpson is already firmly established as one of America’s hottest underground talents and now stands on the cusp of widespread acclaim.

A colossal, hard-hitting presence, Guilty possesses a rare gravity and charisma on the mic reflecting inspirations such as Kool G Rap, Mobb Deep, NWA and Wu-Tang. Yet while his tough talk initially seems to place him firmly and exclusively in the camp of the microphone mobsters, Guilty is also a keen student of his art and holds a willingness to experiment often shunned by the solely thugged-out. Previous output with Dabrye and Four Tet, creations with Madlib, and allegiance to the Stones Throw stable are all testaments to a wider worldview and demonstrate his ability to unite harder-edged rap and more unorthodox styles.

With dues now paid in full, Guilty Simpson has ascended through the ranks of Detroit’s thriving hip hop scene winning the praise and admiration from local peers including Eminem, D12, and Slum Village. However, it’s two other fans from the Motor City who played pivotal parts in Guilty’s progression to date and the creation of “Ode To The Ghetto”: Dr. Dre studio partner and D12 producer Mr Porter whose credits also include Snoop Dogg, Method Man, Pharoahe Monch, The Game, and Busta Rhymes; and the late great brilliant beatsmith/MC, J Dilla who strongly suggested Stones Throw snap up the rapper. Sharing production duties on the album Porter and Dilla began recording Guilty’s solo debut until Dilla’s untimely death in 2006 left the record unfinished and plans uncertain.

Having regrouped – with Madlib, Oh No, Black Milk and Dilated Peoples’ DJ Babu all bringing their best beats to the table, as well as vocal features by Sean Price, MED, Black Milk and more – Guilty pushed onwards, finishing what the original trinity started. The resulting album is the sound of an up-and-coming, yet seasoned, rapper distilling the years spent perfecting his craft into one definitive record.

The albums many highlights include sinister synth-heavy drugs documentary “Footwork”, lovelorn lament “I Must Love You”, the swift and athletic banger “Run” and live favourite “She Won’t Stay At Home” on which Guilty recounts his problematic domestic sexual politics. Also featured is the marauding, cash-hungry mission statement “Get Riches” which has seen recent widespread club and radio rotation in the UK and US. The record’s title track is now set for a pre-album single release backed with the blazing “Robbery”, whilst the full “Ode To The Ghetto” album follows at the end of March, all via Stones Throw Records. Guilty Simpson is also confirmed to play the shows listed above providing European residents an unmissable early opportunity to catch one of America’s fastest rising hip hop talents in action. Don’t miss!

“Guilty Simpson has already put himself in a league of his own. The future is full of opportunity for him.”


01. American Dream
02. Robbery
03. Footwork
04. Get Riches
05. The Future feat. MED
06. Run feat. Sean P & Black Milk
07. Pigs
08. Ode To The Ghetto
09. The Real Me
10. She Won’t Stay At Home
11. I Must love You
12. Kinda Live
13. My Moment
14. Yikes
15. Kill Em
16. Almighty Dreadnaughtz feat. Super MC, Krizsteel & Konnie Ross

The album Guilty SimpsonOde To The Ghetto” (Stones Throw) has been released March 21, 2008.

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