The Art of Spiderwebbing p.1: Dreamer’s Block by Suede Jury
Spiderwebbing is the only way I know to learn things. It’s just the art of asking questions. I guess it’s most important when listening to Jazz because it’s such a team effort. You start researching every beautiful song. Who is playing bass? Is that an alto sax? When you get your answers you look up all of the other projects those players have done and it grows from there.
My most recent hip hop example is Suede Jury. While listening to an excellent posse track(https://freemusicempire.com/2013/03/16/songs-of-the-year-submarine-bass-faceturn-me-up-by-fresh-daily-featuring-suede-jury-and-melo-x/) I was struck by the casual confident flow and cool name Suede Jury. Before googling, I asked the internet (through twitter) if he had a solo project. By the time Suede hit me back with a link to his Bandcamp released 2012 project Dreamer’s Block, I already had it loaded for listening. Spiderwebbing isn’t just a skill it’s an art.
New York has such a deep legacy in hip hop that it can’t be referenced simply as boom bap screw face. Throughout the 11 songs of Dreamer’s Block Suede seems to encompass all of it, a Rawkus Records rugged poet on How It Seems (To Me) where he spits the opening line “Fire before morning, mothers mourning their sons by banging on drums…I write a song on it.” It feels like the start of his verse on Respiration off the Black Star album (if he had been on it). He doesn’t seem to have any connection to the modern sensibilities of conscious rap. If you look at any portion of his verses throughout he’s never whining about the world or even telling you of its problems. Dreamer’s Block is an adult conversation that expects a lot of maturity from its listener “In prior years was a bit of an optimist until reality struck, its scary how I grew wiser over the last six months. As a person I’ll tell you this much, worse to be unobservant than people to think you keep your distance (REM).”
He produced 9 out of the 11 tracks (two exceptions being Tae One contributions Up and Timeline Of A Rap Celebrity). The music has a familiar richness, feeling like something you could have pulled out of the Brand Nubian Era. The drums on Soul Sista (Dream/Girl) crackle and pop with precision. He never floods you with too much because he has a lot to say and wants you to listen. If you dislike the current rap scene because everyone relies on confidence over skill, copies each others style, and relies more on ad libs than bars…you can’t complain because Dreamer’s Block is out there. It’s thickly poetic, full-grown conversational, and fun. Steeped in Langston Hughes and Sadat X, I can’t get away from this thing. It’s a project I’ll be able to play while my kids in the car and not feel like I’m avoiding listening to good music in favor of clean music.
Timeline of a Rap Celebrity sticks out as a monstrously viciously awesome dissection of modern fame. His fictional rapper character blows up, fades away, makes a comeback and tumbles all the way down to tragic ends. It’s not just a masterful warning, its fun right down to the light brush strokes of horn in the background. He never whispers you to sleep; he’s that dude who never shouts and makes everyone listen. It would be easy to call Timeline of a Rap Celebrity the tapes centerpiece, its built on the foundation of New York Rap holding its faults against itself. That’s important, but when I think of Dreamer’s Block I think of its last track Get Busy ’82.
A lot of rappers breaking now feel the need to distance themselves from the history of hip hop. Wearing the Masta Ace and T La Rock definition of MCing comes with a lot of baggage, a lot to live up too. Get Busy ’82 is Suede Jury’s easy declarative response to those worries, its fun. Going completely hotel-motel-holiday-inn with strong assists from Cavalier and Fresh Daily, the beat slams and the crowd is sampled into a chanting loop. Suede kicks bars about how fresh he is and ends with the chours “you must not know math, I’m number one.” It’s such a purely blissful tribute to the house parties that started this music. How fun is that groove?! How well is he riding it?! I would almost call it the essence but that would be cheesy.
I would instead call Dreamer’s Block found gold and promise you the space on your computer is well filled.
Stream or download Dreamer’s Block below:
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