Monday, February 22, 2010
Album Spotlight: Contrary to Popular Belief
When Graves Hansen asked me to write a few words on his new album, Contrary to Popular Belief I was more than happy to oblige. Graves is a notable Seattle Hip Hop vet, with supreme grind and the only artist I personally know with their own Iphone app. The album, from Seattle’s Black Lab Productions, is a testimony to Graves’ contemplative, sophisticated sound. Filling a much needed gap in Hip Hop today, Contrary to Popular Belief takes listeners on a reflective journey, urging us to look deeper into our world, our lives, and ourselves. Powerful, complex, and at some points painfully critical, the album is anything but light listening. Despite the heavy content, Graves has a way of delivering even the most melancholy message in a way that makes you bob your head and yearn for more. The album features contributions from some of Seattle’s best little-known artists, such as Jewels Hunter, Cheo Lopez, Phreewil, and Cin7, as well as 206Zulu’s favorite beatboxer AudioPoet. Several tracks also feature the legendary guitarist Randy Hansen, best known for his work with Jimi Hendrix. Click here for track listings and to purchase the album, and definitely look forward to more exciting releases from the emerging Black Laboratory, which has much more up its sleeve.