Posted by: thundaworld | September 23, 2013

ALBUM REVIEW: Hieroglyphics – The Kitchen by Jim Hamer (Article)

Hiero_2k13 album_cover-the kitchen frt (www.thundaground.tv)

Hieroglyphics- The Kitchen by:  JIM HAMER
It’s Hiero Ya’ll!!!…The West Coast Wu is back with their official third release, The Kitchen, on their own Hiero Imperium label.  2013 marks the 20th official anniversary of the 3rd Eye Logo and Bay Area collective, after Del Tha Funkee Homosapien lit the torch for the movement with his debut in 1991.  Casual’s college radio classics “That’s How It Is” & “I Didn’t Mean To”, Souls of Mischief’s debut 93’ Til Infinity, & Del’s follow up LP, No Need For Alarm, were all released 20 years ago in 1993.  It’s been a decade since the Hieroglyphics conglomerate unleashed its sophomore project in 2003 entitled, Full Circle.  Now, the Hieroglyphics crew breathes new life on the mic while keeping their pivotal production on point with their latest effort, The Kitchen.
A sample from “Friday” is an amusing appetizer, with actor John Witherspoon slurring “Everytyyyme I come in The Kitchen, You in The Kitchen.”
The album really starts off with “The Mayor”.  Pep Love spits effortlessly on the track “I’m the best in it, even if I didn’t have a red cent…” and on the chorus filled with braggadocio, “When we step into your city/ Keep it grimy and gritty/ The Hiero Committee…”  That’s precisely what they do on this fantastic summer release.  Run shit like The Mayor.
Del shows us delivery and direction, rapping and producing on “Golden”.  The catchy chorus “Just like the tombs in Egypt/ Soon as you see it/ You’ll be speechless/ GOLDEN/ No jive when we slide through/ We gonna provide you/ With something to ride to/ GOLDEN!!!” has the lyrical wizard spitting signature flows.
“Gun Fever” is the 1st single served up from The Kitchen.  It’s simply a blast with the Hieroglyphics members getting their shine over a haunting hook.  It hits you in the head and plays like an updated “Tonz Of Gunz” by Gang Starr, with catchy commentary about the epidemic and fascination over arms in today’s society more than ever.  A-Plus kills his verse, showing us the “proper procedure” how to give the listener “a seizure”.  When the beat drops out, Del creeps in with paranoid lines like “Seeing this vicious cycle in my vision/ Keeps me suspicious of passersby and citizens.”
“wShores Galore” is extremely dope, but is only two minutes.  Pep Love’s shines again on his sonic solo, “That Merch”, a much needed ode to the heads slanging “that work” on tour and at the crib.  Another short gem, “Nutrition”, has a wine and dine feel to it, reminiscent of the Beastie Boys’ elegant “The Blue Nun”.
A lot of cutting is going on in The Kitchen.  Peep the end of “Indonesia”, or the ride-out anthem “Highway Five” for example.  The scratches, fade-outs, and wobbles make it very sunny listen.  What makes The Kitchen such a dish is how each track blends together.  This is where The Sleeprockers, a party rocking DJ outfit outta Sacramento, cook up a seamless package adding elevating elements of turntablism to Opio’s signature cuisine, giving Hiero a fantastic backdrop to drop updated, lyrical bombs on their ever growing fan base.
The album’s standout track, “Exciting”, is just that.  A Phesto Dee, mind numbing, head banger with soaring instrumentation akin to standing atop of a mountain, chest out, arms spread wide, ready to take flight and soar.  “Cause I’m Exciting/Pleasure over listening/I’m only trying to tell you what your records keep on missing/I’m only trying to help out your crew/It really doesn’t matter cause you don’t know what you’re doin’.”  Wack MC’s & producers take note.  Originally released in 2011, it’s a great addition to this meal.
Unlike the title of the outro, the Hieroglyphics are definitely not “Passing Fads”.  They continue to make classics and comfortably compete in today’s rap landscape.  These constant collabos from the consistent Cali Crew make The Kitchen so delicious.  A tasty treat containing positive vibes, lyrics, & thorough beats throughout.  One of the better albums of the year with Del, Casual, Pep Love, Domino, and the Souls of Mischief crew (A-Plus, Tajai, Phesto, Opio) sounding like they are more of a family than ever.  The Kitchen has the ingredients, and Hiero is letting us know they are sticking together, furthering their legacy as a major force in Hip-Hop.
© 2013 Jim Hamer
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