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Solillaquists of Sound: As If We ExistedAs If We Existed (2006)
Reviewer Rating: 4.5
Contributed by: AnchorsAnchors
(others by this writer | submit your own)
I’ve never subscribed to the ideology that underground hip-hop was better than mainstream hip-hop only on the merits that it’s underground. Both classifications have a lot to offer stylistically, and in range and number of rappers, so anybody that blocks out underground hip-hop or mainstream hip-hip because it is such doesn’t deserve to listen to either.
No more unexpected routes to turn down while alone and following your dream / To resurrect a pulse right into the seams, of its struggle / To be accepted as worthy cause without clause -- clout and all.The slow and wrenching combination of piano and violin that carries the song out gives plenty of time to think about just what was said, and that’s a victory already, because right after it ends that just means it’s time to listen again, to take in everything missed the first time. The funky “Berlin” follows in that thought-provoking context, with Swamburger rapping straight bars without a hook for close to three minutes, the crunch of electric guitar riffs not too far in the background. Alexandrah takes over halfway through to add an interesting vocal and lyrical perspective to what was an already standout track, and on an album full of them, “Berlin” and “Ur Turn” shine above most.
With Swamburger and Alexandrah bringing their contrasting styles to the background mix of an sublime electronic beat and the sounds of a church choir in the background, each word in the song hits that much harder. Swamburger, not one to stray from opinion, is very vocal about the current state of the education system ("My every reply against your sin like violence and mis-education / False representation that’s costing a nation of children lost in fallacy gaps / Fantasy maps without a path and teachers that just don’t know the math). Swamburger and Alexandrah have plenty of other barbs throughout the course of the track, but the underlying message is to take a more critical look at things that are important. Obviously that’s different for everyone, but so long as there’s something that matters, there’s something worth looking at through a more critical lens.
A philosopher by the name of Betrand Russell once penned something that sums up the social views of SOS and the way people should look at hip-hop just the same:
It is healthy in all affairs to hang a question mark on things long taken for granted.
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