Hip Hop been alive but only reported dead. The major league game been Detroit vs. New York (KNOWLEDGE: SUNSET STYLE – TRACK THE MOVEMENT)led by P! and without Ebro’s condescending approval. But New York doen’t need a savior. There’s a whole Broken Home filled with them if you knocking on doors. Outta East Medina BK via Queens, Spit Gemz has already produced a rare catalog of original material. Unique to these times, he has collaborative works (The Oppposition), works under his earliest name (3Rah) and the incredible premiere work as Spit Gemz, Welcome to Hellzgate last year. All original material and with a Miles Davis-like recruiting ear, he draws the strongest talent around and carries them on his back as honorably as he can. That ladder he leaves for others has not always worked ideally and it has taken us longer to notice he is a classic solo MC. An MC with an insight and versatility in dexterity and vocalization to control whole albums with engaging themes. We await a pure solo LP from Gemz and for now receive the incredible Fvck The Radio. It continues the heavy list of guest feature MCs but more than ever shows Gemz’ focus on the mic is nearing supreme.
Supreme MCing. It begins with Gemz’ obsessive skeletal base of classic breakbeats. The tracks led by One-Take, who produces nearly half the 20 tracks, is filled with beautifully addictive elements. Minimalist and letting us absorb the addiction of the snare, bass drum and high hats in their glory, the melodic currents are the brightness of colors on the painted sketches Gemz drops each line. “Tell-Tale Heart”‘s piano loops and reloads lovely on the book closed snare letting us hear Gemz flow like a rolling ball over stanzas of introspection. There is the well done familiar as the Don Producci’s produced “Destro” that uses a version of the oft used “Super Woman” (Buckwild, RZA, OutKast, Organized Noize) to good effect as the break stutters uniquely with the classic Destro quotes (“Don’t they know they’re dealing with Destro!”). As with “Destro,” there is the cymbal crashing, horn sustained “Max Cohen” by One Take, the thudded drums and oft kilter whistle sounds on “Ninja Vanish” (One Take) or the classic title cut by Tre Eiht Special with its big booming bassline of banged keys and tambourine’d snare setting up a Firewater Super Lyrical backdrop for Gemz to rhyme on and on.
The thematic presence I see Gemz will have on the mic over his career will guide as well as inspire. For Fvck the Radio, he is on a brilliantly raw introduction to the roots of his character. This and Welcome to Hellzgate, filled with the aforementioned great guest verses and sharp beats, is really showing us the roots of pain and the branches of brutality. “I go to war with myself and find peace in my Art/ write rhymes to the beat of my heart” he choruses on the brilliant “Tell-Tale Heart” that blends the pain that has become a focused right to his lyrical revenge, an abominably dynamic Love through Hell that all can came out Right. Aside from his battle brutality, the vocal dexterity is the gift Gemz displays that lets the detail of his social commentary be completely non-didactic. The doubled over flow of “Graffitti Everywhere” with a chorus that only snapshots part of the beautiful visuals spread throughout the song’s verses. Gemz rhymes as a leader (“Our righteous teachers have been demonized…The God is building/hold your tongue son/the code is deep..” – “Fvck the Radio“) immersed in the bottom of the worst of the worst and the sincerity of that is what we call realness. There is also a thorough cleverness throughout that has it’s comedic undertones through his lady sucio verses on “Rugcutter” and “Ravenous” or the cryptic jewels over “The Devil Rejects” and “Season of the Witch.” The decent MC makes songs as these as a style whereas Gemz succeeds in portraying his theme of lessons learned/being learned over a dirty past of poverty and crime and the real feelings of lust, desire and rejuvenation through righteousness or revenge driving him.
The thirteen guest MCs that rhyme on Gemz’ songs merit note. They don’t give a 16 on a good pay rate; rather, they seem to be giving their best verse they’ve got at the time. From the sharp tone of destitute articulated by AG Da Coroner on “The Devil’s Rejects” the poverty of NYC comes alive (“No money for food/my own fukn Ramadan”) to the classic verse by Broken Home’s G.S. Advance on “Crimson Guard” (“I digest your Moms/shit out ya siblings/rebuild ya family in my waist to make a livin'”) or the dynamic charisma Thirstin Howl the 3rd fluctuates through on “Homemade Hot Sauce,” only a great MC hitting peaks in the booth can get top verses from MCs already highly skilled.
Fvck The Radio is a Dream Shatterer album from Gemz. It is the thematic introduction to his universe of thought that demands us to exile the frivolity of radio, television and mass media. Not merely for the reasoning of his social commentary, ghetto visuals and insights but because the listening experience is a pure reward of a vast array of MCs gifts (vocal dexterity, complex lyrical patterns, vocal tone and pitch presence, vastly growing knowledge, an intriguing experience of wisdom and a real-time understanding) brothers rarely have had.
COP Fvck the Radio here: http://spitgemz.bandcamp.com/