Hip Hop Roots/Innovation (Video/Song Review of Ezra Letra's "Telethon of Regrets/A Nobody") by Jamez Chang
Watching the video, listening to Beatsmith Medore‘s production, I kept thinking of The Beatles’ “A Day in the Life.” The recollections and linked sections, the experimental interlude—gravitas, ethereal and gritty, but with a dose of irony and optimism. It’s a sublime synthesis of film noir-style sound with Colombian music, hooking back into somber-toned raps. The voice of Ezra is reflective and alive. In fact, the emcee’s flow had me thinking a lit-hop hybrid of Big Pun and Cypress Hill. Mission next: Legalize the street scholar!
Beatsmith Medore’s work just feels grounded, his beats built and layered with root-keeping in mind, classic Beatnuts vibe, with a DJ Shadow-type experimental touch; organic ambient/environmental samples (storms, traffic, locusts, deep breaths & door knocks) that complement mood; and yes, yes, a dash-style of The Neptunes, laced up for fun!
The music video, directed by Ezra himself, celebrates place and roots (Queens gets its due) but it also reveals so much about preparation and process. I like this idea of how an emcee and beatsmith both get ready: Ezra brushing his teeth, Medore brushing the vinyl; Ez fitting the cap, the DJ his monitors.
The beatmaker is more of an “in-the-dark-behind-the-curtain musician,” whereas, the emcee is prepped for the visual bribe, making himself stand out not only through words but appearance.
A soulful homage. “Telethon/Nobody” looks and feels like a breakthrough track:
Telethon of Regrets/A Nobody
Editor's note: This review first appeared here: Jamez Chang
Jamez Chang is a hip hop artist, poet and editor living in Englewood Cliffs, NJ. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Underground Voices, FRiGG, Prime Number, Thrush Poetry Journal, and Menacing Hedge. He is working on an album, Lit Hop, in which he fuses hip hop with literary text and the voices of poets and writers. He currently is the editor of flash fiction at Counterexample Poetics. Visit: http://jamezchang.wordpress.com/