The Suburban Menace crew from Cape Town at their album launch party - "Sub-Conscious"!
Suburban Menace has finally, after teasing us with three mixtapes, dropped their first full album, Sub-Conscious.
Yeah, I know I promised a review of the album before the official release date, but since I was invited to represent www.Bruinou.com at the launch, not as media but as a guest, and that is besides having an artist in my stable also performing, decided to give you the low-down on the event as well as the new CD all in one go.
The launch event itself set new standards not only for Cape Town crews, but nationally.
Having a stellar line-up of artists and DJ’s warming the stage, the almost 700-strong crowd at Stones, Kuils River were treated to a world-class performance from Chad Saaiman, who is ruling airwaves with his current soulful R&B hits from his 2009 SAMA nominated album, Chasing Melodies, and also performing some of his newer material. Chad was later joined by Byrone Clarke, both signed to Stereotype Records, performing songs off Byron’s upcoming debut album, Self Inflicted.
Next up, Brother-A aka MC Ashley, who owns Nationwide Productions and has joined me at Full Force Entertainment, had the crowd in stitches with a short stand-up comedy routine, before having all the young ladies in the crowd go wild, performing one of his current radio hits, High School Girl.
This song really had the crowd going and was the last part of the curtain raisers.
Then the time arrived that we all had been waiting for and the fans went wild when Suburban Menace took to the stage. With DJ Dawg live on the decks, songs like CPT Is Back, Fresh and their club anthem, Act Famous, had the crowd bouncing.
Cape Town R&B sensation Chad Saaiman doing his thing!
A song that really stood out for me was the ballad, Mistakes, with an exceptional performance from new backing vocalist Lana Fredericks, who was brought in to replace the two female vocalists who performed on the album.
When Suburban menace finished performing their final song, I noticed that the sales desk for their CD suddenly became extremely busy, with some people buying more than one copy as gifts for friends and family.
The Launch Party was then taken to another level by arguably still the best turntablist in the country, DJ Ready D, who filled the dancefloor to capacity, incorporating live performances from his crew members into his set and then cutting in some huge dance tracks that made me wish I had his powers.
The event was really awesome yes, but more importantly the album is a masterstroke.
MC Ashley and DJ Ready D
Sub-Conscious – The Album
The album starts off bringing us some Real Cape Town flavour with track one being an intro from none other than Boeta Gammat and Boeta Joe of Joe’s Barber and Marvin MOB as the customer.
The track "Hip Hop Trip" displays some slick and clever rhyming from the whole crew but especially Narc and MDK on a tight production with some awesome vinyl damage from DJ Dawg.
"CPT Is Back" gives props to the Cape Town artists who laid the foundations for the Hip Hop industry SA has today and also announces Suburban Menace’s intention to make Cape Towns impact even bigger. It is also the only track featuring the normally silent fifth member of the crew, Marvin Seekooi aka M-Seeq who runs MobCow Productions and is responsible for all the recording at his Hippo Studios. Geddit?
With the ballads, the crew has harnessed the great vocal talents of Alida and Garth Foster on "Mistakes" and the brilliant Chad Saaiman on "Mistakes Part II".
Their club anthem, "Act Famous", which was on one of their mixtapes before, has a well deserved place on the album. "Rep Your City" is something you will want to bump in your car on any summers day, with Earl Scratch doing the vinyl damage and it contains one of my favourite lines on the album saying “They all be saying I ain’t repping the streets. Why? Cos I still have my four front teeth”.
The Album is interspersed with hilarious skits from Boeta Gammat, Boeta Joe, Washiela and Outjie, all characters from the Joe Barber Show. Believe me that it’s not a prop to push sales but it adds to the overall package, and brings an element of Cape Town to the album which gives a feel of the fun they have at their live events. Their shows almost always have a stand-up comedian or two in the line-up.
However, do not for one minute think their music or delivery is meant to be funny.
There is their view on HIV-Aids expressed in the song Anti-Virus telling it how it is.
The song Rockbottom containing music and lyrics from the Phil Collins song, Another Day In Paradise, deals with the very real problem our community has with drug abuse and how it affects so many lives.
Featuring Lloyd Jansen on vocals, the production is something I am sure Phil Collins would be proud of.
The Cape Town hip-hop icon and the best turntabilist on the continent - DJ Ready D breaking it down!
The final track dealing with xenophobia, as well as our own inter-racial strife, Never Again - I Am An African, has already become a nationwide hit and besides featuring some sweet vocals from Cindy Says, it also features the voices of Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki taken from landmark speeches as well as making references to the visions of Steve Bantu Biko.
There is a bonus track and it is a remix of Cape Town is Back, featuring contributions from some of the Mutha City’s best including, Cole, Phoenix, Baza Lo the Sotho Boy, Bracen Kayle and MC Duane.
This album is a must have for all Hip Hop heads and would even impress those who are not really into the genre. I already have mine, and I suggest you get yours soon.
Sub-Conscious by Suburban Menace will be available in the www.Bruinou.com online shop very soon and will include some exclusive special offers that Suburban Menace and Bruinou.com will have for our members. Preview tracks will also be loaded onto the site’s media player.