This has been a busy year for Declaime. After releasing a full-length solo album and a collaboration with Georgia Anne Muldrow, he comes back with his third album, this time with Spanish producer Koyto.
This release is a natural continuation of the psychedelic hip hop fonk (the name of his last effort and a nice description of the funk that is heavy and uplifting all at once) he’s been laying down all year. Koyto steps in with some beats that fit Declaime’s style perfectly and allow him to thrive on the mic, where he delivers his unique sing-song delivery. Koyto manages to throw in some other generic elements to divesify the sound, whether its reggae or Indian rhythms, but nothing sounds out of place. It all has a heavy bass and laid-back beats that will make you want to hop in the car and cruise with the stereo pumping.
For the majority of the album, Declaime is on point with his lyrics, focusing on political activism and positive images in hip hop. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the song “Black Pick,” which features a killer Janis Joplin sample (can’t quite place the song) and drums that stay on top of the beat and push the song forward as he demands to see “all black fists in the air.” Seriously, this song is amongst my favorites of the year. The groove is amazing, and I keep catching more in the lyrics each time I listen to it.
My only real beef with the album is that with the back-to-back weed songs, “The Great Smoke Out,” and “Grass Roots,” the focus is lost and the album gets a little sloppy. Maybe if they were spread out I wouldn’t mind as much, but I prefer Declaime when he’s encouraging us to take action to make our society better, not to get higher. However, his weed songs are better than most other emcees, and he doesn’t use it as an excuse to act immature. He just likes to get high, and I’m not going to fault him if he’s also going to put out three albums a year of smart, challenging, funky hip hop.
I don’t know what 2011 has in store for Declaime, but 2010 has been very good to him. When the fonk forces us to dance and think about political action all at once, the world is a better place, and this is something that he clearly understands. Get on the good foot and check this album out.
|Title:||Declaime - Dr. Shrooman aka Black Tripper (Prod. Koyto)|