Its common for emcees from hip hops golden era (1986-95) to avoid tags such as old-school. Motor City vet Falah aint that guy. He embraces his inner Beat Street, and dares you to call him anything but old-school. Vocally, hes part Kool Keith, part Andre the Giant. His high-pitched delivery and anxious cadences set the tone here, and he uses each song to herald hip hops glory days. Biters, black women, graffiti artists and break dancers populate his mantras, and he celebrates them over classic break beats that push live DJ scratches to the forefront at nigh 100 beats per minute.
Give It All You Got is Falahs pep rally for lovers of authentic hip hop. He sends a strong message on this as on many of his songs through extended endings and hyperactive arrangements. Think Big Daddy Kanes Lean on Me remix. This practice will undoubtedly test the patience of hip-hop fans who view canned radio rap as the real pudding. But with interludes clipped from seminal hip-hop films Beat Street and Wild Style, its clear that Falah couldnt care less about canned pop rap.
A cadre of cohorts, including Dogmatic, Wax Tax N Dre and Spec and Doc Soos of 3rd Kind, make this a Detroit affair spanning nearly three decades. Its an ear-curling nod to hip hops heyday.
Khary Kimani Turner writes about music for Metro Times. E-mail [email protected].