As I looked at this album’s back cover, which depicts six brothas just sittin on a back porch with song titles running above their heads like “Hoe Card,” “Makin’ Cash Money” and “Get Dat Dough Quick,” one burning question seared its way into my mind: what the hell is a suburban white guy like me doing reviewing an album like this? I don’t know, but here goes.
Black Indian is a hip-hop group that just recently signed with MCA at the end of February, shortly after performing on BET. The style of this group is very gritty, and full of anger; apparently they were very popular as an underground group before signing with MCA, and this shows in their raw lyrics and loose, capitulated beats. I have to admit I was a bit apprehensive when I first listened to it, but once I realized where the group was coming from, things seemed to make more sense.
“The Fight Song,” track two on this album, has been promoted the most in recent months, and had already been released on a single before Get ‘Em Psyched came out in April. It’s grown a great deal in popularity as its been played in hip-hop clubs quite frequently. This is a great example of what Black Indian is capable of; loud yelling, shaking, and gnashing of teeth all come to mind as the line “don’t break up the fight, gonna rumble” is repeated ad nauseum until the listener can no longer bear to sit still.
Actually, this is a common trait in all the songs here. They all disdain overly intricate rhymes, and even stay away from samples and complex music patterns. There is very little eeriness here, as is seen in the music of many other hip-hop artists through the use of weird organ and violin samples repeated over and over again. A few of the songs are just drum beats with some bass, and a guy yelling some dramatic phrase like “get a hoe with your hoe card, you wanna be hard” or “gotta get dat dough now, gotta get dat dough quick.” The repetitive nature of this music makes me think of the rave scene, but the scorching karma and riotous noise produced by Black Indian force me to think of something about which I have no background: the black experience.
// Notes from the Road
"Powerful Chicago soul-singer dips into the '60s and '70s while dabbling in Urdu, Punjabi and Italian.READ the article