Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Stillborn Identity - Aim High, Fall Hard (ep, digital, cassette, cd)

    Hailing from Pittsburgh, PA Stillborn Identity recently released the follow up to the ground-breaking indie punk rap album Life vs Art with Aim High, Fall Hard. I hesitated to label Stillborn Identity's music as any specific sub genre, mind you, his name recently came up in conversation with The Soloist, as to whom is the most original MC out right now that (you) know personally. That being said, Stillborn Identity came back to follow up a critically acclaimed great album with another one that is bigger, crisper and by all measures better.
     Ignoring the quote unquote sophomore slump stigma Stillborn Identity stays true to his original/unique style as well as advances his flow, delivery and overall sound. Bone crushing, heart wrenching lyrics that hit home to anyone born in a post baby boomer era, I find Stillborn Identity's lyrics to be relevant to a majority of real life situations and problems. Seemingly set in his ways and humbled by the struggles of hustling one's own art Stillborn Identity holds no punches when expressing his frustrations via cutting edge skater friendly tracks. Whether smoking a blunt with your boys, shredding the local spot or rocking out a BBQ in the summer the Aim High, Fall Hard album will not disappoint all conscious listeners and fans of indie hip hop in general. Extrapolated on this album, compared to the previous release, this stand out indie rapper gets in depth with common issues plaguing today's society, culture and music scene. Along with almost non-stop touring Stillborn Identity has teamed up with NJ's basement show super hero Raymond Strife and quite possibly the break out artist of the year Cornelius the III for a head bopping, beer chugging, fist swinging collab track. Spawning from the side project/group The Dead Kids, these three are a staple in bars with cheap beer and quality patrons.
     I honestly feel Aim High, Fall Hard's individual tracks deserve their own blog, apologies, Stillborn Identity and his pursuit of dying arts ripped a spectrum of topics from drug abuse within social circles and a dying music industry to blue collar bullshit and low self esteem problems in general.  Living basically off of donations and a sub par paycheck indie artist Stillborn Identity manages to continue to be worth the money you are not paying to see him perform nor listen to his music. If you haven't already you can jump to his band camp page below to preview, purchase or download the digital album, in the meantime find his fan page on Facebook and follow that for complete touring details and all news on his solo or group projects.
(editor's note: Stillborn Release a debut album that I was unaware of when I wrote this, I won't go back and try to pretend I am any kid of famaliar with it, future critique coming)

Classification: Indie Rap, Punk Rap, Skate Rap, Alternative Rap
Overall Grade: 7.0/10 - Based off how much I still dig Life vs Art & the progression already shown, his next albums should continue to climb this chart into indie perfection.
Recommendation: Purchase, donate, download and study. Go as far as befriend the man when he comes to your town, seeing him live is something you have to do when applicable.
see also: The Dead Kids, Raymond Strife, Baker

riches for your reading afflictions:
Aim High, Fall Hard (direct link)

Phace - Phlozart (Digital LP, CD)

    Phace recently released a monster into the hip hop world, Phlozart, which crashed into the NJ Hip Hop scene like super storm Sandy hit the coastline. This already established artist seems to just be sharpening his blades with this longer than average masterpiece. Phlozart highlights Phace's beyond capable skill and talent at painting the spectrum of a full and complete hip hop album. Phace packs in heavy bang out anthems and colorful collabs sandwiched around a handful of heavily conscious heart felt emotionally enthralling tracks. Each individual track having something unique about it and maintaining an overall gutter rugged strength which builds Phlozart up to be one of the most premiere releases thus far this year.
    Ironically, for me, whether I knew the collaborating artists or not I felt at home listening to Phlozart.  With a style born and bread in the 90's golden era of underground relevant hip hop, Phace impresses his street credibility and lyrical talent song after speaker bumping song. Keeping it real with the sound quality and production value on Phlozart may possibly be an attribute that I am better tuned for than most of you, but, I assume if you are reading this you are a solider of the same struggle. Furthermore, I would love to sit here and critique or nit-pick apart Pholzart but I've been through it a half dozen times and can't find anything to contest.
    Unfortunately/Luckily, this was my introduction to Phace as an artist in any significant manor, I had only heard a few collab tracks he was featured on and whatever came up on my sound cloud stream prior to downloading the album off his website. Rest assured that reverse research will be done and a better judgement of progression will be made, as for now, let us leave it at this:  Pholzart, as depicted by it's title, is a work of art, a masterpiece in an era flooded with mostly weaker mass appeal records. Phace comes hard as concrete with street anthems and proves his value up and down the track list.

Classification: Hood Hop, Street Rap, Grimey Lyrical, Underground Hip Hop
Recommendation: go to website immediately and strive to achieve what he is doing now.
Grade: 7.5/10 - i have no basis for progression or idea where he could bloom to next, my apologies.
See Also: Scoob, Sol Zalez, Tru Mentills

rewards for your reading spoils:
Phace Official Website