For any Hip Hop fan that loves
the battle scene, the annual Scribble
Jam is an event not to be missed. The only artist ever to win the SJ Freestyle Competition twice, New Hampshire native Adeem, exited the rhyme-battling game
in 2001. Hooking up with underground Chicago
producer Maker and DJ DQ, the trio formed the group Glue. Joining the 2004 Vans Warped Tour, Glue startled and excited the indie punk crowd with their well
crafted style of blending boom-bap with a hint of soul that independent music is
so sorely missing. The appeal they displayed caught wind of the people at Fat Beats Records and got them signed
to release their second full-length LP, Catch
as Catch Can.
From the jump, the title track grabs the listener by the
throat and forces them to pay attention. Maker
lays down a canvas that emcee Adeem
takes and runs with, while DJ DQ
cuts it up and spits it out. From the introspective "Never Really Know," which
finds Adeem remembering a past that
no longer exists, to the self-explanatory "State of the World," the trio
has a natural chemistry that is evident throughout the entire album.
Giving Adeem a
chance to breathe, Maker takes the
solo route on the noisy "Pan Stomp" and sample heavy "In Between Her." As dope
as these are, with tracks like the highly amusing "A Flay Can't Bird" and the oddly
touching "Vessel," it's hard not to want more Adeem. The highlight of Catch
As Catch Can has to be the jazz-sampled "Stride," a track devoted to
defeating anxiety and stress. Check the chorus, "I'm trying to get some motivation/ So if you see me broken down and
I've lost my stride, tell me everything will be alright." Having little
experience of the thug life, when Adeem
states the line "Crush, Kill, Destroy,"
you can rest assured the man is speaking about old B-movies rather than what
he's going to do to his enemies.
Through the numerous listens I've given this album, I must
say the only downfall is what I praised earlier. The fact that the three are so
"glued" together composes a problem. It's one thing to create an album that is
fitting and connects so well, it's another to be so enticed to one sound that
each song begins to sound like the last. I can't find myself putting Glue down, as in reality each track on its
own is beyond dope. It's just taking the whole thing at once is ... eh.
Having been a fan of Adeem's
since his early appearance at Scribble
Jam, I've always looked forward to his albums, amongst his group efforts.
And I have always found myself nodding my head to any Maker production that passes by me. The case remains with Catch As Catch Can. Real Hip Hop is
needed desperately and this group is among the few that can bring it to the
ears of fans worldwide. Glue is
running, try and catch up ... if you can.