When I think of "Renaissance" I think about that golden
age when art, scholarship and the like appeared for the first time
to enlighten the populace, challenging everything it once knew. In
a time where Jurassic 5 is collaborating with Dave Matthews
and appearing on the local alternative station, I was hoping for some
good, old-school hip hop when I was assigned to review Loer Velocity's
first solo album, Ready For A Renaissance. I was ready for
smooth beats, clever rhyming and poetic lyrics-something with a nod
to Digable Planets' lyricism, the speed of Blackalicious,
and maybe a smoothness of vintage soul.
Loer Velocity's voice is melodious, the beats are effortless, and
his lyrics are real. "Renaissance Man Intro" sets the tone.
Loer Velocity is not going to be in blackface performing what he thinks
we expect from him. From "Nuth'ns" to "A-Z," I
was not disappointed. He's not trying too hard - like it seems nearly
every other artist is.
In "Get The $," he says, "I'm forever counting pennies
when I recollect/ still my bank account is slim lookin' kinda suspect/
keepin' up with the joneses polish my rep." Loer Velocity goes
on to the perils of daily life: hitting the snooze alarm, being late
to the minimum wage job and blaming it on a late train. He continues
this theme in "World of Poverty." This is not a man hiding
behind a grill and a bottle of Cristal. This honesty that life is
hard reminds me of classic KRS-One.
So I got what I wanted in this record - a down-to-earth lyricist
telling me the truth but not begging me to feel sorry for him, a different
beat with each track and poetic rhymes. "Convo Piece" is
my favorite. "Lately I've been feelin' kinda introverted/ and
you might not fully get it by the way that I word it/ but I'm do my
best to let you see in my window" and "I've been searchin'
deep within my soul" are not lyrics of some cocky guy trying
to sell you his CD to promote his blinged-out lifestyle. He's just
inviting you in while he figures things out. And this record is a
renaissance - an artist admitting that he is that average American
and that he's not living the lifestyle we see on Cribs.
A great set of tracks to put on at the end of a long day. Either
listen to the lyrics and think a little deeper, or simply sit back
and enjoy the beats.
1. Renaissance Man Intro
3. Song I Sing
4. Serenade Of Transitional Conflict
5. Crash Test Dummy feat. Poison Pen
6. So High Intro
7. So High
8. Get the $ feat. Donnan Links
9. World Of Poverty
10. Bummed Out
11. Centrifugal Ciphas feat. Sav Killz
12. Convo Intro
13. Convo Piece
14. Rehab feat. E. Dot & Cvees
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