A Local Legend's Solo Debut (4.5 stars)
, April 13, 2009
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Zachariah (aka New MC) is a longtime veteran of the Twin Cities hip-hop scene. In 1997, Zach, Unicus, Mesh, & DJ Elusive formed Kanser (with Ant from Atmosphere producing) and independently released their first cassette, "Now". Their second cassette-only release, "Network" was even more ambitious, which featured one produced cut by Ant (Mesh took over production duties at this point), and guest rappers such as Slug (of Atmosphere), Eyedea (of E&A), Oddjobs, Felix (of Heiruspecs), & Try-D, among others. Kanser released their first CD in 2000 entitled "Inner City Outer Space", and have continue to stay very active in Minnesota's booming hip-hop scene through present day.
Big Zach is the epitome of a local rapper - and I mean that in the best way possible. Zach tells a series of in-depth stories throughout this disc which touches on friends, relationships, parties, working at sub shops, inner city life, scoring college chicks, and many more tales of his personal life. Zach simply reps his reality and the people that inspire him. While Zach is by no means a mind-blowing rapper, he does have a very comfortable and unique sounding flow that boasts his personality and great songwriting more than his actual mic skills. And while Zach takes his craft seriously, he does not take himself too seriously as a person - which is honestly a refreshing trait in my opinion.
The production here is excellent throughout, and really drives the album nicely. Big Jess (of Unknown Prophets), Ant (of Atmosphere), 84 Caprice, Greg Buck KAC, & Dillon Parker all make this album a very cohesive listen. The vibes are fun, soulful, and playful, which never borders on anything abstract; which keeps those heads nodding. I truly like the album all the way through, but my favorites are "Cool J Planets" featuring Desdamona, "Sub Shops" (produced by Ant), "White Jesus" (maybe the best cut here), and the Big Jess produced "Emo Rap", which is my personal favorite and the perfect closer.
While Zach is mostly a product of his local scene, that does not mean his vision of reality would not appeal others. The material here is top notch for a 10+ year veteran in the game. The love Zach has for the game is simply immeasurable - this is his true life on display.