Eon MC Etc. & The Libra – Race Music

 Eon MC Etc. & The Libra – Race Music

Eon MC Etc. & The Libra – Race Music – EP Review

What IS this and where did it come from?  For some reason…I feel like I was genuinely surprised by the crystalline-quality production and innovative rhymes & charismatic charm of the R&B sounds on the Race Music EP from Eon MC Etc. & The Libra…I have to admit, I didn’t see these two comin’!

Right off the drop they crack into an old-school sound that completely works…you’ve heard the style of flow before from everyone from Grandmaster Flash to Tone Loc to Run DMC and countless others…it’s timeless, tested & true – and Eon MC Etc. & The Libra make this idea really shake & move on the opening cut “Too Pretty.”  There is SO MUCH old-school that runs through the vibe of this cut from the beats to the record scratches, R&B additions that sound right out of Bell Biv Devoe and the overall rap flow…you could even argue P.M. Dawn around the three-minute-thirty mark.  Although I’m not entirely certain this first cut gives them a particular unique identity…I do like it.  The energy of the party vibe on “Too Pretty” is too strong to ignore…it’s the kind of track that instantly puts you into a great mood; the rap comes out blazing hot with solid-line after solid-line being delivered on-point.  The music of “Too Pretty” really deserves a shout-out too – this whole thang they’ve created here lifts you up while making you want to get down!

“Drank In Hand” has some of the slickest lines and flow of the entire record.  Absolutely ended up being one of the tracks I dug the most throughout the EP – the hooks are catchy and both verse & chorus are loaded with’em.  Listen to that opening verse and how SICK it is!!!  That’s one of the best verses I’ve heard on any set of bars…it sets the tone for the vibe and swagger of “Drank In Hand.”  There’s a low-down rubbery-funk bass that enters into the mix on this one that kind of springs the chorus to life…it’s got good melody there as well – but all hats off really to the ownership of the verse.  Confident, crisp and right on beat – “Drank In Hand” makes you really sit up and notice the amount of skills that these two possess and pay full attention.  They sound great on their own…in collaboration with each other, they just sound stronger and unified; in any situation, these two deliver.  Whether creating lines that are so funny they’ll actually make you laugh out loud or taking it all seriously – these guys seem to nail whatever direction or idea their ambition pulls them towards.

Even on tracks that leaned more towards a modern-day sound than towards the old-school like “DJ Spin Me One” – I couldn’t help but feel the beat.  I’ve got a lot more love for the old-school than I do the new-school – but there’s like…a real balance here – this was a serious treat to listen to with its uplifting vibe and effect-laden vocals – “DJ Spin Me One” is determined to move you…and chances are it will easily succeed in its goal of doing that.  Really catchy and containing multiple layers to really keep it entertaining but cohesive at the same time – definitely the kind of attention grabbing sound that will catch many an ear in its path.  Highly accessible in sound and really vibrant to the ear – I think they’ve found a solid winner with “DJ Spin Me One” – and I also think the EP shifts into an ever higher gear from this point forward.

I found “Prisoner” to be one of the most interesting tracks on the entire EP.  Not only are the lyrics solid – but the way they sing this tune is truly impressive.  It weaves through R&B, Soul and nearly even a gospel-like sound in its rich & thick chorus…inarguably, there’s real ingenuity in the approach to the melody line & vocal-flow here.  When you listen to “Prisoner” though…notice the way the music reaches just as creatively as the vocals do…there’s a minimal beat that drives the verse, but listen to the twists of it when the chorus hits – you’ll hear what I mean.  The atmosphere they’ve created on “Prisoner” is one of the strongest on the Race Music EP…it took me a bit to fully wrap my head around this one…by the time I did I was pretty much convinced this was genius.  The pace & pulse to the verse is truly clever and moves in a sleek & powerful way.  Overall it comes down to great ideas and execution in the approach and the feeling that this whole track really takes you somewhere in your mind when you listen to it; the background and layered vocals trading off throughout “Prisoner” really make this one a magical moment on the EP.

Aside from the initial lead-vocals before the words actually start on “Love Right Now” – I thought the whole performance came out strong.  Initially, they sound a little timid…the notes are high-up as high-up gets – but at the same time they still sounded like they were missing a little bit of power & confidence by comparison to what we’ve already heard from them.  That being said, once they hit their stride, they roll into more dedicated R&B style with a supremely smooth sound and outstanding hooks.  Those high-up notes find the right energy and thickened tones perfectly…the hooks are sincerely strong and the entire sound of “Love Right Now” is something you instantly want more of once it’s all kicked-in.  Really liked the production on the vocals and how they had the extra reverb on them to get’em blended right into the mix with real style.  Another solidly accessible beat with a ton of crossover appeal – “Love Right Now” was definitely a highlight from the chilled-out vibe section of this duo’s catalog and one of my personal favorites on this record for certain.

The final track “Cliff’s Notes” restores the initial energy of the Race Music EP back to its high-points in one last blaze of verbal gymnastics at the end of the record.  Absolutely killer music in the samples and beat that make-up the atmosphere on “Cliff’s Notes” and these two rise-up to the challenge of entertaining us to the end flawlessly.  I truly found everything on the Race Music EP to be completely entertaining all the way through when it comes right down to it…hearing them end it this strongly with their most confident vibe on “Cliff’s Notes” only adds to the evidence of a case that’s already made them great.  With impact and precision-rhymes that deliver with energy, passion and tone that tells your ears they really feel the vibe – “Cliff’s Notes” ended this EP on the strengths they’ve shown throughout all six-tracks – the Race Music EP is a real wild & cohesive blend of ideas you really can’t help but enjoy.

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Jer@SBS

http://sleepingbagstudios.ca

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