Hip hop crews are a dying breed. Every rapper nowadays is a solo artist. Locals, Six of Seven, on the other hand bring back the 80s and 90s spirit of groups like Wu-Tang Clan, Cypress Hill and Hieroglyphics by focusing on the group aspect and not one single lead rapper.
The crew has rotated a little bit since its inception two years ago. The lineup for their latest EP, White Heaven in Hell, released last week, includes the five emcees Wise Pro, Iron Slaughter, Life, Denial and Redeem with Life producing the beats.
Llife’s beats are simple, old school samples that bring to mind the classic laid back West Coast vibe. The lyrics, on the other hand, are hyper and kinetic. While each emcee brings their own unique personality to their verses, they all share in a similar passion for spitting out fast complex rhythms and poetic word strings. The five of them work together, but at times seem like they are competing to be the quickest in the group.
The seven tracks on White Heaven in Hell are the result of their two years of songwriting. While they are re-inventing the wheel when it comes to the West Coast hip hop sound, they do demonstrate skill at their craft and great respect for the genre and the decades of artists that came before them with solid atmospheric boom-bap beats that leave space for the emcees to spit as many words out as possible, which they do.
The songs have a similar production quality to one another—airy beats and aggressive vocals. The strongest song is the opener, “Forgotten Truths” which has an almost Eastern flair to it. Other highlights include “She” which has a 70s funk backbeat and “Bill’s Cosby,” which despite the title is actually very serious. (Bill Cosby’s sweater is a frequent reference throughout the EP). It has probably the softest beat on the EP. Also, the closer, “Blade Runner” is a great energetic track.