Dear Major Record Label Executivel:
The next big thing in hip-hop lives in Little Rock, and his name is 607. The rapper has just released one of the best hip-hop albums of the year and will probably put out two or three more before we elect a new president. “Nobody But Us” ($10, self-released) is his 25th release since 2000. He brings his brother Bobby (AKA Mr. Morbid) back into the mix, a first since the early days of his group, Trauma Team. The result is an aptly titled record about family, life in Little Rock and the state of the nation.
In interviews, 607 has said that he was going for “a more accessible summertime album.” He’s pulled that off, but that doesn’t mean he’s forfeited personal music loaded with social commentary and poetic metaphors for infectious hooks.
This is the rapper’s most focused and conceptually reined-in work to date. The album begins with a skit that expresses the difference of personalities of the two brothers and how they make it work in their favor. Bobby adds the loose cannon element, while 607 provides the focus of a leader.
The title track immediately catches your attention: “If you hear a loud sound but don’t see a big crowd. Heeeey! It ain’t nobody but us.” You get a nice dose of 607’s humor in his “Citywide Campaign.” Here the hook has the kind of comic relief that the rapper so often blends with serious subject matter. “Back on My Feet” shows off one of 607’s lesser-known talents — his skills as a music producer. “That No Mo” includes original music played by 607 in his home studio. His wizardry with samples can be heard on “Farewell to Yesterday” featuring the vocal stylings of Jessica Lauren: He takes a sample and manipulates it to his liking — a little more kick, a softer snare, mixed in a way that makes it something new.
607 is nothing if not diverse, but he’s also demonstrated an ability to hone his craft at every turn while maintaining artistic integrity. He’s everything that a record executive looks for when they want to sign an artist — quantity, quality and marketability. He has the revolutionary attitude of Tupac, the dark humor of Eminem and the pop sensibilities of Kanye West. Investment is often about building. With money 607 could build a musical empire like that of Dr. Dre or Outkast.
Thank you for your time,