“First Toke”-Uncut Raw
Damn, I must say first and foremost that “IT” is back…and “IT” is referring to my love for Hip Hop. The funny thing is I’m finding my fix where I’m least expecting it. I don’t want to discredit any of the acts that have renewed my passion for genuine Hip Hop over the last month or so(Blue Scholars, Buff 1, Raks One, etc.), but it’s a rarity that I listen to anything at all beyond 1997. I mean, it just feels soo damn good, when you find a diamond in the rough just by coincidence and get a little bit of satisfaction in knowing that Hip Hop is NOT dead. Oh, and I’ll say it 1nce again, thank God for spots like “HHB” & “Bossplayer” (see my THOUGHTS about two weeks ago) that do offer more to the avid Hip Hop lover too check for. Acts that otherwise cats may have never heard if it were’nt for sites like these. I’m not on my “own sh*t” here, but I do pride myself in having a damn good ear for good music, but again I may be totally off in your opinion.
With that being said, it’s time to once again shed light on an “album” that has really caught my ear by surprise. After doing a few stops at the usual “blogs” I check on a regular basis, I came across “First Toke” by Uncut Raw HERE (props Bossplayer). I don’t know what possessed me to even give this a listen, maybe it was the effective but simplistic cover art (just being honest). On the other hand I’ve been pleasantly surprised more than a few times over the last few weeks so what the hell! So, who is Uncut Raw?? Sorry, not to much that I can tell you other than that they are comprised of MC’s hailing from the CHI & Akron….Selfish & Fluent, (hell, I couldn’t tell you which one is which, but one of em’ sure sounds a lot like Cappadonna). I did check their myspace page and it’s not very informative either. Most interestingly, I think that these cats are unsigned as well…if so, that’s a damn travesty! I will say this, their sound is described on their myspace page as “Ya favorite cassette you used to bump in ya’muthafukn’Walkman…..Fuck an ipod!” Boom!, that’s pretty damn accurate. Earlier in this paragraph you see I posted the world “album” in italics, the reason being this sounds more like a demo than a properly engineered, mastered album….but, that is why I love it and what makes it so fresh!!! “First Toke” is RAW, probably the rawest sh*t I’ve heard this year!!
If I had to classify the overall feel of the album, I couldn’t…you’ll really have to hear this album to do it justice. With plenty of old soul loops, and “Donuts-esque” elements it’s a beautiful listen and best of all with only a handful of the 26 cuts on “First Toke” clocking in over three minutes it does a masterful job of “Keepin’ Em’ Eager To Listen”. I mean, I’ve been playing this sh*t all weekend..nothing else, just “First Toke”. I really feel that I’m not even doing “First Toke” a favor with my words because it’s soo damn dope!! “Imwityou” starts the album off on the right foot with it’s soulful loop and finds yet another MC professing his love for Hip Hop. The last minute of “Tilthesuncomesup” is like sex for your ears at it freaks the same horn loop used on Ed O.G. & Da Bulldogs “Less Than Zero”. “Green” freaks Jay-Z’ “We can talk, but money talk, so talk more bucks” perfectly. “727″ sounds as if J Dilla were right back on the boards with the sonic bounce for Uncut Raw. Funny thing is, my highlight of the album is a 1 minute 17 second instrumental fittingly named “Anothabeat” (I uploaded it on the myspace player at the bottom of the page for your listening enjoyment ), I don’t know what or where the sample came from but if I was a producer or MC I’d sure as hell be doin’ some homework tonite!! I WILL but this sh*t, and I highly suggest you do the same with your hard earned bucks…I think that you’ll be pleasantly surprised as well. I said it with the Blue Scholars “Bayani” and I’ll say it here..congratulations Uncat Raw, you mad some damn good music!! Now, if you can only find a label that has somewhat of an ear for talent!…-Eric