From the strong jaw of the bay area, San Jose rapper Roch is out of the gate this year with LP, Lightweight Bi-Polar Mania.
Right away I find appreciation to the use of live instruments that feature prominently on the emotionally charged album. With a poet’s pen, Roch’s hip hop/soul elements mix well with live sounds and old school sampling.
The 4th track, Hard Times, reminded me of something E-40 would come up with. With lyrics about the everyday man’s hustle, the heavy kick coupled with the various bells and wind instruments makes it an easy song to groove to.
Track 5 is No More Starz, and begins with a grainy filtered guitar and piano. The lyrics kick in sorrow, and soon the drums jump in to create a groovy, yet beautiful little tune about wishing on those vanishing stars. I thought the echoing chorus mixed with the wild turntables made this one of the better songs on the record.
My favorite track was Dracula’s Widow. The 7th track, it keeps a pretty low bpm, and has one of my favorite keyboard sections this year. The track is the most impressive song on the album instrumentally, and I feel like Roch felt the same, keeping the lyrics very simple, repeating a handful of lines through the song. Complete with a sick drummer, conga riff, a tight western guitar solo, and old school strings in the background, this impressed me the most.
If Roch keeps improving on his current form, I think he will join the ranks of groups like the Cunninglynguists, known for their different approach to rap.
Check out his Facebook for more information, and bear witness!
Until next time my friends,