Traance is full of surprises. The last time I saw him perform, I was impressed, so I was excited to see what he had to offer with this 17 track release.
Traance – Raps From The Alley (Soundcloud/Mediafire)
Traance is full of surprises. The last time I saw him perform, I was impressed, so I was excited to see what he had to offer with this 17 track release. Now the intro with its Ric Flair banter and all seemed to be more about mixing together some cool shit than leading you into the project, which is why I guess track 2, “The Genesis,” is a short track with more of an introductory feel. Most of this project, production-wise, has an old school soulful feel to it; there are no “turn up tracks.” Lyrically, Traance does his thing. On tracks like “Feel Me” and “Prehistoric,” you find him sounding organic, homegrown; whereas tracks like “Its Pimpin Pimpin” and “Drop Jewels” do have him reaching a bit. Still though, this is some mellow, young guy hip hop stuff. Some tracks were too long, some too short, and there are some arrangement issues… I get the feeling that Traance is still figuring both himself and style out. This is, however, definitely a decent start from someone who respects the art, and respects the craft. I’m interested to see what is next. If he is as hungry and enthusiastic as he sounds, he’s already plotting on it.
Legend: it’s a tricky word. I’ve been called a legend before. Do I think I am one? That’s up to you to decide; I really don’t care either way, though I appreciate any kind words you have for me. Bigal though, he says he is a Young Legend. Do I agree? No–not at this moment. Now before you get all “There go Black, hating on someone, blah blah…” I’m gonna tell you now: Bigal Harrison is a good guy. I respect him as a man, as he has always been respectful to me. This though, left me confused. See, I first came across Bigal’s music from his track “Street Fighter,” on which he sounds like a COMPLETELY different person. Who is this low voiced, Kendrick + 50 Cent guy all over this project? Why is it that he feels the need to use the word fuck, then the N-word 4 syllables or words later, dumbing down his skill and overall message perpetually? The Bigal I know is a champion. An incredible athlete. Not some guy who goes on and on about the same ol’ drivel of “short wanna fugghh,” “let’s turn ugghh naggugghh, po up.” I can’t lie, I was disappointed. I guess because I was expecting the young spitter I heard on “Street Fighter,” not this guy who’s vocals have an effect on the low end creating an airy space with every breath he heaves. Bigal still undeniably has rhymes though, and he executes… and is executed by his brother Goldin Harrison, who flexes on “We Major.” Goldin’s vocals are crystal clear, making whatever they did to Bigal’s voice that much more noticeable. Also Bigal, as a young legend, you expect to be seen amongst the legends. Legends who are not part of the Wu Tang Clan do not say “Wu Tang nigga, Wu Tang nigga” in their songs. There are rules to this. I’ll be honest, I will never listen to this again, but I will listen to you again, because I know you can do and are better than this. And honestly, the next challenge is what drives a legend, not the last success… or failure.
Known as the hardest-working man in RVA hip hop, Black Liquid hosts two local radio shows–Thursday nights 11pm-1am on WDCE 90.1 FM, and Saturday nights (aka Sunday mornings) 1am-3am on WRIR 97.3 FM–organizes the bi-monthly Face Melt Fridays at Strange Matter (next one is scheduled for September 26), and teaches creative writing to 7th and 8th graders at Sabot at Stony Point School. He’s also a prolific emcee, having released nearly two dozen mixtapes either as a solo artist or with his compatriots in The New Juice Crew over the past several years. Download his music at NoiseTrade, and keep an eye out for his new album, coming this fall.