Quick question for the hip-hop lover in you:
Why aren’t you up on this yet?
Actually, why did it take me so long to get up on this?
I love music in general but I’m in love with hip-hop. Lately however; I’ve kinda been like “Eh…I’m over it"".
No shade to anyone, but it seems like every other week there’s a new song and dance comin’ out and I’ve watched my beloved lyricism die a slow death in the name of what’s “hot.” I believe that when everything is considered “dope”, “hot” and/or “fire” nothing truly is and I find myself hating the word more and more every day. If at all possible, I avoid using it. Imagine my skepticism when my twit-bro @Lega_c hit me up and told me that I had to take a listen to Hassani Kwess because he's "dope".
Initially, I wasn’t even gonna listen because of my aversion to all things quote unquote dope but Eric convinced me to do so; reminding me of the fact that we have the same musical tastes. Prepared to tell him where he could stick this bit of dopeness if it proved to be anything but, I downloaded Hassani Kwess’ Cross Into the Black EP
I plugged in my Skull Candy’s and had an unexpected eargasm.
The first track “Journeys (The Opening Act)” is a poetic and lyrical gem that has a laid back, organic hip-hop kind of vibe to it. As Kwess told the story of a boy, no, a man who can mentally moonwalk over any premeditated boom box that makes the room rock, I was mentally transported to a poetry slam. As the beat took over, I nodded my head in anticipation of the lyrics to come. Kwess rhymed:
“Electronically he’s Presario
And he sticks with Sonic because he sucks at Mario
No more rings but oh no, don’t die
It’s time to fly…
this man was I”.
Hooked by his delivery—and the pop culture reference—I turned up the volume in my headphones and continued to listen.
The beat switched up as the man himself began to mentally moonwalk over the given track and let the listeners know a bit about himself. Kwess stated that he is a man of soul and that he can’t be touched with a ten foot pole before briefly touching on his smooth demeanor. Later in the track he remarked
“And these ho’s with the whips love how I groove
They keep hittin’ me til I provoke a power move"
and proceeded to lyrically beat up the track. Without getting unnecessarily hype he continued,
“They sit back and peep game while my hands glow
Cuz once I’m goin’ ain’t no tellin’ where my hands go
Up, down, left, right
Now you’re toothless
And then you say
‘Goddamn he’s ruthless’”
Thus began the “Journey”.
Hassani Kwess’ XIB EP is an almost perfect example of why the DMV has next in the hip-hop scene. Whether he’s keepin’ your speakers knockin’ like a “Box of Shellz” or solving a hip-hop whodunit in “Who Stole the Show"?” he does so masterfully. With a guest appearance from Mouse aka The Waldorf Posterboy Kwess challenges his listeners to see if they can rock with him over some insane production courtesy of Mr. Motif of Urban Underdogz on “Electronic”.
With XIB Hassani Kwess shows that the “Quest” he’s been on since he put out D.r.e.a.m. The Mixtape and continued with his sophomore effort The Mixtape's Day Off hasn't been in vain as he shows major growth and greater lyrical dexterity.
To download the
Cross Into the Black EP, click the tracklisting below
For more Hassani Kwess online, be sure to
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