On a daily basis, TECB will receive enough hip-hop rubbish to make even the most devout fans of the genre second-guess their listening habits. The clichéd claims of being on some sort of epic grind or uttering only the realest of real talk are constant themes from the majority of land-of-make-believers who seek our support in their music. Thankfully, in extreme juxtaposition, we’re also able to hear artists who script sincere, compelling narratives by pouring their heart out like a forty-ounce.
Enter Prolyphic, Rhode Island native and Strange Famous alum. That 40oz line is a paraphrased lyric of his, one I believe speaks predominantly to what’s heard on Working Man, Pro’s latest LP produced exclusively by labelmate Buddy Peace. The long and the short of the story is this: Prolyphic has a number of topics he’d like to voice his opinion about, and the album, his follow-up to ’08′s well-received The Ugly Truth with Reanimator, plays like a tooth and nail David v. Goliath representation of a day-in, day-out blue-collared lifestyle.
There are some valiant battles to be fought on Working Man. On the album, Prolyphic throws punches at everyone from FEMA (“Six Feet High”) to Big Pharma (“Drug Dealer”) to the no check-cashing, lollipop-hoarding bitch at Citizens (“F*** Banks”). They’re all honest gripes, too, conveyed with gritty lyrics and given a rapid pulse from Prolyphic’s energy as much as Buddy Peace’s carefully crafted production work. An album this well-conceived and delivered is hard to come by, but the RI-to-LDN team of two have managed to release one of 2013′s best to date — and it all happens over some of the hardest drums hip-hop has ever witnessed.
Quality of music aside, the album’s appeal also resides in its relatability. Working Man pulls no punches and listening to an artist spill some guts on record is refreshing — because no matter who you are or where you’re at, there’s something shared here, whether it be opinion or life experience.
Although the bulk of the album is fighting the good fight with our protagonist, it’s the eleven tracks sandwiched in-between (not including the album’s uncredited bonus track, “Twelve Percenters”) the soberingly familiar “Stale Bread Winner” parts I and II that managed to have a lasting impression on me. Feelings of emptiness and dreams fading further into obscurity over a haunting Buddy Peace instrumental tend to have that effect. Luckily, I’m cool with dwelling on doses of a depressing reality — it’s just my steez.
That said, if there’s anything to learn from Prolyphic & Buddy Peace’s superb effort in Working Man (purchase here), it’s this cheesy reference to the Jagger x Richards orignal: You can’t always get what you want, but you get what you need — by setting that alarm clock, maintaining a good work ethic, keeping family close, and being a hard-nosed, resilient motherfucker. Rhode Island don’t play. Nor does UK.
Filed under: 401 Gettin' It Done, Album Talk/Review, Hip-Hop, Music, Recent Purchases | Tagged: Buddy Peace, Prolyphic, Strange Famous Records, Working Man | Leave a Comment »