At this point in his career, Qwa’s pedigree is unquestionable. South Side representative extraordinaire; Low End theorist; endlessly inventive with flows and increasingly daring in subject and range. Long hailed for his vocal ability, the decades have seen Qwa transform into the rare artist whose symphonic flow is effortlessly matched to pitch-perfect confessional content. The moments that meld both into a unique storytelling voice are rare—Rakim’s "The Ghetto" comes to mind, as do Black Thought’s post-bop excursions. Qwa’s true corollary, however, aren’t his fellow MCs—it’s Charlie Parker, whose wrenching solos feature a technical genius that are only matched by their sorrow—the sound of Icarus’ wings melting. He’s found his proper spar this go-round—Batsauce is a Berlin-based turntable Gillespie (URB recently dubbed him "the next ‘it’ thing in…underground hip hop"), and their first full-length is a true titanic, trans-Atlantic meeting of the minds. Tasteful guest shots only augment the chemistry: Denizen Kane, Onry Ozzborn, Offwhyte, KP the Ilustrado of The Pacifics, Lady Daisey, and DJ Bizkid round out a stellar supporting cast.
Bird once famously said, "If you don’t live it, it won’t come out your horn." Bat Meets Blaine is a record of tremendous vitality and reach—Chicago, LA, Jacksonville, and Berlin are a part of its geographic DNA. It numbers several underground classics (Typical Cats, Walk Through Walls, Suicide Prevention, etc.) as its bona-fide predecessors. Its progenitors have earned accolades and stripes and props in print and in person. But most importantly, it has been soaked in rum and in the river, and it has emerged as a testament to pain and power, and it plays beautifully. Bird and Diz, meet Bat and Blaine.
For cats who don’t know nothing about nothing, peep Bird and Diz (Clef, 1952). Get your weight up, suckas!
released September 13, 2011
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