Sunday, April 4, 2010

Oakland Freestyle

I got this CD one night from a guy I worked with... one of those days (I worked split shift) where I had burned through all of the shit in my car and I was desperate for some new tunes to keep me going until 3 AM. Most of his stuff was rather afro-centric, y'know like the X-Clan, Arrested Development and the Jungle Brothers, who are all fine but I just don't care about them. Then I got to Saafir. Boxcar Sessions is one of those rap albums you'll either love or hate; and if you love it (like me) you'll get frustrated trying to convince people to like it. Saafir started out as a dancer for Digital Underground (!) then did his thing as an actor (he's Caine's cousin Harold who gets jacked in Menace II Society), all the while honing his freestyle skills in Bay Area rap battles. Boxcar Sessions is a ghetto-produced freestyle masterpiece; making the shit up as he goes along Saafir redefines what a hip hop album should sound like. It sounds cheap and boom box at times but that's even more the appeal, a garage-band rapper. He's got a couple thugs in the house who lend their skillz as well which have led some people to claim this is more of a compilation album. Whatever. This is the man known as Saafir's album - the phat beats and huge off-the-cuff rhymes make it an instant classic.

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