[23 September 2009]
European hip-hop is a bit of a strange animal. More often than not, the producers are the ones who receive the most credit. However, can you blame the United States hip-hop community when we have been graced with beats from such talented cats as Nicolay, Dela, Arts the Beatdoctor, and Fabio Musta? When the emcees do get some respect, it’s rare that they are as universally embraced as their beat-making cohorts. It’s a damn shame, too, especially when there are talented artists like Dutch rapper and producer Skiggy Rapz (Marcel Tegelaar) bouncing around the scene. Don’t let his goofy name fool you: His latest effort, Bang to the Boogie EP is a jazzy, funky, and fun-loving collection of tracks sure to impress.
First and foremost, it’s important to know that Skiggy spits in English. The thing is, he raps so fast sometimes that you would think he actually is rapping in another language. Quite the contrary, actually. He has ridiculous breath control, which he shows off on nearly every track. His electrifying flow is at its best on the title track and “Sure Shot”. “Bang to the Boogie” is the 2.0 version of a late ‘80s party anthem with its funky-ass bassline and braggadocio-filled bars. “Sure Shot” is equally as funky, but it’s jazzy to boot and boasts a killer hook. Both tracks are highlights for another reason as well: They display Skiggy’s top-notch production abilities.
This rapper and producer’s energy is as undeniable as it is contagious, but he remains focused when he slows it down, too. On “Today”, he shows he is no one-trick pony over a blend of organs and acoustic strumming. It’s a track in line with the work of K’Naan and k-os, both in tone and songwriting. Like those talented artists, Skiggy does not rely on typical song structure. Instead, he might break things down or randomly churn out a bridge from out of nowhere. Although it’s more up-tempo, much of the same goes for “Headphones On”. It features another gigantic chorus, this time from multi-talented Tienus, who also co-produced this track and the aforementioned “Today”.
While Skiggy rarely disappoints here, there are a few missteps keeping the EP from running smoothly. “Runnin’ Outta Sole”, both the original and remix by Inf, is a forgetful track that falls short of meeting the standards of its predecessors, largely due to the fact the other remix features Arts the Beatdoctor transforming “Sure Shot” into a noisy and dubstep-esque burner. His slight moments of mediocrity aside, Skiggy has crafted an EP worth hearing not just by open-minded hip-hop heads but fans of music in general. His blending of genres, upbeat rhythms, and sing-along hooks are sure to catch the attention of listeners the world over.