And when the subject matter is outside the norm of what is usually addressed in mainstream hip hop (having sex, all the money one has, how thuggish one is and having more sex), I'm very very interested.
Cue in Hawk House - a groups that achieves all of the above with their music. I first got introduced to this trio (Sam, Eman and Demae) in a promo video they released back around 2011 under the name A Yellow Man. After a few more video/single releases, there was a long silence and then they resurfaced this year under the new name Hawk House. They recently put out a free mixtape project called A Little More Elbow Room. Here's my thoughts on it.
This project is beautiful. It ticks all the boxes right. The production succeeds in taking you on a journey with a simple yet intricate blend of melodies and grooves. It feels like a throwback to a purer time in hip hop music (somewhere in the 90s) closer to its inception. This was a time and space where the music was fun and light whilst still being able to address real life issues. This was a time where it felt like the artists were trying to actually say something of worth in their music and not just what would sell the most records.
Rappers Sam and Eman ride the hip hop beats with a cool laid back ease. It's as if they're not even trying as their cleverly constructed rhymes flow out effortlessly. Demae laces the tracks with some smooth, soulful vocals that make you feel like you're flying in the clouds...and then she surprises you by flipping the script a few tracks into the project and reveals her own rapid flow raps! This nicely introduces an extra element to the musical mix.
Content wise, they talk on topics ranging from their mission in the industry, observations of the struggles we go through in life, etc. Listening, it feels like a mate throwing their arm round you and just conversing in a chilled, relatable manner. It's hard to single out one particular track - they are all on point - but Tidal Tendencies is what I've found myself having constantly on repeat. Check it:
Do yourself a favour and go get this free project! Download it here or here.
Peace, love and spoken word finger clicks!