Local concert promoter Charlie Levy of Stateside Presents has just booked a slew of great upcoming shows for the Phoenix area, including Reubens Accomplice, The Elected, Band of Horses, The Life and Times, TV on the Radio and Devendra Banhart. Also in the mix is a hip-hop gem: Soul Position, featuring RJD2 and Blueprint.
I’ve yet to see RJD2, who is a busy boy of late, and Blueprint has dominated my iPod with his 2005 release 1988. If it wasn’t obvious by his style, Blueprint says in his liner notes: “The year 1988 gave birth to a lot of classic hip-hop records, so I named this album 1988 to pay tribute to those artists and records.”
He’s right, too: N.W.A., Straight Outta Compton; Public Enemy, It Takes a Nation of Millions… ; Eric B. and Rakim, Follow the Leader; Run-DMC, Tougher Than Leather … to name just a few.
Blueprint reminds me of a young LL Cool J: a little rough around the edges, but with a fearless flow that’s hard to ignore. And he avoids what, in my opinion, is a major plague in hip-hop: guest artists. Albums have become so watered down by this guest and that guest, it’s hard to tell whose LP it is. Blueprint limits it to two (including a great spot from Aesop Rock).
Blueprint | 1988
Blueprint | Fresh