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Jazz Addixx
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(from Dominiation Recordings)
From its inception, hip-hop was pluralistic, defined by an approach to sound that included jazz, soul funk, rock and roll, African drumming and the kitchen sink. Everything was in the mix. It was a multi-cultural barrage orchestrated by the DJ who doubled up break-beats, superimposed records in sync and shifted swiftly between different pieces of vinyl, among other methods. The MC, on the other hand, originally served to comment on the DJs skills. But soon enough, they also developed their own art. Arising from a long tradition of black “dozens” boasting, metaphoric inventiveness, blues singing, and “scat” vocals, they blended radical formal wordplay with consciousness-raising lyrics. Today hip-hop is widely recognized as being quite diluted. Gone are the DJs and the MCs are not conscious but rather formulaic. In short, commercial hip-hop isn’t really hip-hop anymore; its rap without the depth, ingenuity and creativity that was present in innovators like Rakim or Eric B’s artistry. So what does a music lover do? Give up the genre to the commercial slaughterhouse? No. They can check out Virginia’s Jazz Addix instead. Why? Well, this trio consisting of MC Mudd (originally from Chicago), DJ Ragz (originally from Sacramento, CA) and DJ Boom (originally from NYC) has brought texture and lyricism back to hip-hop. The neo-jazz turntablism, lounge samples, electronic sounds and abstract beats create richly layered soundtracks that mesmerize the ear. The cohesion Ragz and Boom create with such a wide array of sounds is nothing short of magic. David Copperfield himself with would be jealous of their sleight of hand. As for MC Mudd, he boldly follows in the footsteps of legends like KRS-One. His voice has an undeniable charisma and his obvious intelligence comes through with confidence. His storytelling abilities are epic (think Beowulf from the hood) and his vocabulary is endless. Beyond that, his lyricism is defined by his consciousness and awareness with tributes, condemnations, pleas, bravado and sheer joy blended throughout all 20 tracks on the album. So whether you’re fed up with the frivolity of P. Diddy, an underground hip-hop fan or new to the genre entirely and wondering what the fuss is all about, I’d recommend checking out Jazz Addix and their album Oxygen. These three artists capture an old school vibe within a modern sound, do it from the heart and, in the process, create an innovative and challenging album that will make you an instant fan.
- By Dave Terpeny
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