Roots. A Hip Hop writer writes for the right of roots. Roots that are the writs of wit that write through the stems and flood the leafy pages that fall on the peoples’ grounds. With End The TV, Spit Gemz waxes winds of his own leaflets of astute themes and strong ideas stated with massive authority. Where Fvck The Radio, released earlier this year, was an LP title statement backed by bars, End The TV upholds the statement with even more cohesive lyrical themes. A range of themes that question authority, tradition, religion and complacency while answering with musical integrity, expert lyricism and battle supremacy.
As an MC, whether in the low to mid tempo flow or quickened pace, Gemz’ verbal dexterity is so complex it couples the bars with internal rhymes making the verses melodic and layered. Hard as hell to do for an alpha male MC that punctuates each and every punchline with violence. Some of the keys to this rare success are the life of actual experience mixed with heavy book learning (“If the bars are going over your head you should read more” – “The Inkquisition”). This mixture makes a passionate delivery in micro-relation and a macro-relevance in context—it has meaning personally and regarding all worldly matters. It’s what drives the classic “El Estudiante” and it’s exploration of travels with dogmatism and the learning quest of critical thinking. With one of the most insightful choruses that would make Jiddu Krishnamurti proud Gemz builds, “you could believe in this/you could believe in that/if you multiply opinion/then it becomes fact/I’m not saying it’s real/I’m saying that’s how they act/that’s why I’m the student…” When we Hip Hop writers seek to build with artists its not to get autographs; rather, it’s to further the incredible bars with greater discussion. The thoughts expressed here take sages years to see and it is merely to live a wonderfully enlightened lifetime bathing ourselves of belief, itself. For Gemz, life choices also are beautifully articulated on “Corner Stores in Heaven” where One Take’s keys and cymbal crashes set the tone for retrospection. Every opportunity leads to stronger declarations of resolve and it becomes 3 plus minutes of inspiration (“this is the for the scars/this is for the tears/this is for the bars/this is for the years/this is what I hear anytime I feel doubt/this is motivation/this is what it’s all about…”).
Another Gemz key is his technical traits as on most verses he enunciates each word perfectly. An obvious expectation but rhyming is really fucking hard and even the best muffle some words. Gemz excels at this on battle tracks as “Nelson Muntz,” “Destro’s Collar” or “Energon 3.0” reveal. Throughout he word couples with homonyms or manipulates word choicing for homonym-like emphasis for a wildy dexterous effort that is extremely layered. Gemz’ verses then work as a combination of vocal power in any range and the melodic effect his writing affords. It all adds to lines of perceptive thoughts and/or punchlines delivered cleverly as “The illest hallucination is thinking..sober” (“We Are Legion”) or his slaying of the devil on “Nelson Muntz” (“Later I sniffed a line of his ashes/ and then I scattered them/ burnt his memory/and then inhaled the lesson/held it for a second/ then I exhaled perfection…”). There are also clear declarations between it all (“I rather teach you/than cut you/rather reach you through logic/but abolish the weak is what I must do…” – “Overmind (The Endtro)”) and the cleverest homages binding it all (“I came in the door/blade in my jaw/another sucka MC face on the floor…” – “Destro’s Collar” ; “Sucka MCs, man, they ain’t saying nothing/touch a couple G’s/think they holdin something” – “Sinister Six”).
As Spit Gemz leads the Broken Home Crew he still is a true solo MC. That causes the delightful dilemma of incredible features. Here Broken Home’s esoterically wild G.S. Advance, dynamic punchlined Aye Wun, the savagely shrewd Eff Yoo and the ruggedly driving Tekbully unite distinctly on “Sinister Six” and “We Are Legion.” “Timeless Gemz” remains noteworthy as Timeless Truth is probably the livest performance duo in Hip Hop today and Gemz is still a hidden weapon as a dynamic stage presence himself. The most well used feature for a topic is Nems hilariously bombing botti boy infusionists of urban rap lifestyle into this Hip Hop shit for “Fahshunn Dread.” Here Spit Gemz sums up the musical results right—“it’s just weird.” The ultimate highlight is that great 90’s MC, A-Butta, on “The Inkquisition” whose bars are tough, clever and flowed as effortlessly as any Natural Elements classic.
Now, in a decade of mass commercialization that masks a widespread renaissance in crate digging excellence, Gemz’ selection of tracks is respectful if not dynamic. An MC that feeds off straight breakbeats, his production is not superior in progression of sample or distinct sound. Instead, it continues to develop in some of the sharpest and crispest Boom Bap you’ll find. Elevating since the supreme Hellzgate work and February’s Fvck the Radio, the eq work on End the TV is perfected and each track pounds so well you can feel the snares that inspired Gemz. And as he double time flows naturally on the tinkered bass track, “Fvck is This (Endterlude)” it’s clear the beat choices are his personal favorites as opposed to any limitations on his part. So when “The Lunchroom” bangs with the raspy snare drums in the ideal mid tempo, the toughness of break beat muscle is Gemz’ wheelhouse.
Gemz, throughout End The TV, creatively studies the question more than the answer. Emphasizing the insights that grow and develop over the typical obsession with posturing most do. Studying the boards, the streets, the listeners and fellow MCs, Gemz is an MC whose roots are ones we root for. With a technical skill that allows him to say more on the mic, an ingenious writing talent and a hardcore persona that is just real, the people really expect wax highpoints. End The TV continues to fulfill with another aural notebook that will be prized over time.