Saturday, 8 March 2008

Teef - Honour Amongst Teef Vol. 3

I'm kinda late onto the Teef tube train but chances are, you're not on it either yet. Let me tell you why you need to embark at the next station on it's journey. 'Honour Among Teef Volume 3' is where brakes will squeal and you'll feel that warm rush of wind as the train pulls in.

Recently I've been reassessing the definitions and limitations of my musical tastes. It's been a long time since liking Hip Hop has sufficed, now it's come to the point where I realise I have to be more discerning when it comes to my primary musical love; UK Hip Hop. The scene in the UK has got so big that it's now easier to separate the good from the bad. The main bit of badness in the UK is that there is alot of bland, un-innovative Hip Hop. More personally, I enjoy music that is upbeat, positive, funny but has something important to say or is skilfull. I don't really enjoy the 'dark' beats that some people are using and I don't like the aggresive posturing some rappers adopt. Basically I like that aesthetic that the first to do it achieved through sampling Disco breaks: wholesome audio fun!

You'll be glad then to hear that Teef falls into my 'good' category (I know that's a boring category name, but it is what it is). The main thing about Teefs latest offering is that it is a joy to listen to. Not only is it a joy, there are more than just a couple of stand out moments. Teef has draughted in a few different producers and to good effect, the beat selection suits Teef down to a T. The production brings Teef's wordplay to life and in a many cases I'm sure the beats greatly influenced Teef's flow, everything fits so well that I'd be surprised to hear otherwise.

There is something about Teef's delivery that I can't quite put my finger on, whatever it is it's there and it makes him stylistically unique. It's something in the rhyme patterns; he seems to rhyme in triplets leaving a bar every 4 bars for his words to really sink in. Teef's topics are diverse - a good start for any long player. Inevitably, there are tracks about himself (this is rap you know) but 'Off the Bench', 'Anonomous', 'Teef The Stampede Part 1' and 'My Belt' all serve, through varied concepts, to get you acquainted with him so he can continue to communicate with you.

Cultural roots are explored on 'Homeground' which is a tribute to Fela Kuti. If you don't know about Fela Kuti then check out his mad life story on wikipedia, it's an entertaining read. 'Homeground', I can only assume, uses samples from a couple of Fela Kuti tracks.

There are tracks that outline Teef's views on others: 'The Facade' is produced by up-and-comer Jon E Phonics and is a cryptically written track about people being who they're not. 'Congestion' and 'No Rush to Flush' (produced by Irn Mnky) echo Teef's opinions on the amount of wannabe artists in the scene. Hip Hop itself also comes under Teef's lyrical magnifying glass on 'Perfect Fit'.

'Where's the Fun' features Charlie Sloth, an MC whose voice is the total opposite of Teefs. Charlie's voice is high-pitched and frantic, similar to that of Prof Green, whereas Teef's is low and smooth. The two voices complement each other more than you would expect on this track that calls for enjoyment on nights out. Charlie Sloth produces 'A-State of Mind', competently created melancholy beat that allows Teef to outline his sadness about British ghetto living. Charlie also features alongside the legendary MC Duke on 'The Underground', a funny track about, yes you guessed, London Underground.

In summary: Excellently cheerful beats + Inventively significant rhymes = Pure enjoyment

Get your hands on a copy of this (it comes with a 20 page 'Brainbook' that illustrates the tracks) when it's released on the 13th of this month and try get yourself along to this:

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