E Reece – Concrete Steppin | Album Review

Hip Hop from the West has undergone much repackaging since the mid ’90s. Now when rap comes from the sunnier sides of the US, it usually comes in the more conscious, uplifting format from the gangbangin’ early days. Fashawn, Blu, U-N-I and Little Brother have all contributed to the new movement and now Los Angeles’ E Reece hopes to make a lasting mark with his third offering, Concrete Steppin.

A prominent figure in the subterranean levels of West Coast rap, E Reece’s laid back style aims to spread beyond his L.A. hometown into the wider Hip Hop market.

A killer hard hitting beat opens up the album, which E Reece slays with rhymes which pack enough punch to reel the listener into his concrete surroundings. Concrete Steppin is blessed with a vintage flow from Reece as an enthusiasm and passion is evident in everything he delivers.

The authentic feel of tracks such as “Up 2 The Sun” and “Confessions of a Dreamer” makes E Reece stand out above the many “underground” MCs who have worn out the head-in-the-sky motif, delivering remarkably.

Whilst the messages and rhymes are in check, it’s the beats which also help to orchestrate a somewhat quintessential album from E Reece. Dipping into the old school format on “Don’t Front,” complete with DJ scratches in the chorus, E Reece exemplifies the classic emcee that is able to dominate a track and still allow the beat to shine through.

Other exemplary cuts include “The Game” and “Don’t Front” which all boast a spirit of ’90s Hip Hop whilst “Feel Good” featuting Othello is an all night jam session which is pulled off convincingly.

It’s so often been said that the underground produces the best material. Boosting that statement’s credentials, Concrete Steppin is filled with pulsating rhythms and great lyrical displays from E Reece whilst emancipating a lost spirit of charm, which the genre has lost.

The few low points of the album are that new school enthusiasts may feel the album sounds dated and tracks such as “Fantasy Girl” seem unnecessary. Look past both of them and you have a brilliant gem which, hopefully, will be discovered by fans looking for golden material in a genre mired by robotic, shallow music.

–Henry Yanney

Concrete Steppin is available now via Elevated Mental/HiPNOTT Records on iTunes x Amazon.

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