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Thursday, Aug 14 2014 | 06:32
Image: 1590464 7evenThirty and Gensu Dean. Rapper and producer. Mello Music
Group stalwarts and Jackson, Mississippi natives turned Dallas denizens.
Their working together was fated, rooted in shared soil before it was written
in indelible ink. With 7evenThirty’s sophomore album, The Problem, the
duo have committed their destined collaboration to wax, giving rap listeners
an album that wrestles with the rapidly changing present and carves out a
much-deserved space in the forever-uncertain future.
Though 7evenThirty’s first solo effort, Heaven’s Computer, was
written as a semi-autobiographical sci-fi narrative, he’s landed squarely
on terra firma this time around. In fact, his previous interstellar retreat
inward has resulted in an incisive outward gaze at his home planet. The
city buildings might be crumbling, the bars and beats of other rappers and
producers homogenized, but there’s hope.
With his delivery sharper than ever, 7evenThirty is comfortable and
confident no matter where Dean’s snares and kicks hit. He moves in and out
of double time with deceptive ease. Furthermore, his styles are markedly
varied throughout, ranging from rigid and rapid fire (“Russian Revolver”)
to bouncy and playful (“Foot On the Ground”).
Still, 7evenThirty’s dexterity behind the mic doesn’t supersede his
thought provoking lyrics. Case in point, “Making of a Vigilante,” which
deftly outlines a scorned and vengeful woman’s haunting and convoluted
attempt to enact justice. 7evenThirty also tackles several other emotionally
and sociologically rich topics. The perils and paranoia associated with our
dependence on technology (“Off the Grid”), the problems facing the next
generation (“Generation Why”) -- amidst the rubble, he leaves no stone
Working solely with his preferred SP-1200, which only allows ten
seconds of sample time, Gensu Dean has once again managed to modernize
golden era aesthetics, crafting intricate and fluid beats through stringent
composition. Favoring sonic diversity over claustrophobic cohesion,
Dean’s banging suites are perfectly tailored to 7evenThirty’s wide-ranging
subject matter. Wherever 7evenThirty goes Dean sidles up next to him,
flipping lush soul (“Filthy Rich”), blues-rock (“The Problem”), Ukrainian
pop (“Foot on the Ground”), and more.
The sole feature comes from venerated New York MC Sean Price
on “Hook Heavy.” Over Gensu Dean’s menacing production, Price’s gruff
deadpan delivery proves the perfect counterpart for 7evenThirty’s energetic
and elastic wordplay.
With The Problem, 7evenThirty and Gensu Dean have cut all but the
essential. The twelve tracks are clear and concise in execution, totaling
slightly less than forty minutes. Not every question is answered, but the
most important are explored. Listen closely for the answers.”

1. Album produced entirely by SP1200 beat maestro Gensu Dean
2. Features Sean Price (Duck Down)
3. Multi-Video campaign on YouTube from Director Jay Brown (Sage
Francis, L’Orange...)
4. Commissioned Art Series posters from acclaimed illustrator Brett
Affrunti (Netflix, X-Games, Wired, Delta Sky Magazine...)

1. Facing the Problem
2. Roach Spray
3. Russian Revolver
4. Foot on the Ground
5. $ Stacks & Body Bags
6. Generation Why
7. Making of a Vigilante
8. Off the Grid
9. Better Give ‘Em Sumthin’
10. Hook Heavy (feat. Sean
11. Filthy Rich
12. The Problem
13. God Particle (CD & Vinyl
Bonus Track) Available from 25.07.2014
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