Words By Patrick M.
Doc Wattson’s Trouble Brewing on Baker Street does what an EP should. It showcases the talents of the MC and his producers, D-Lock and Das Broose while opening the imagination for potential improvement on a full-length album.
Like most projects that don’t have the benefit of professional (re: expensive) production, there are rough edges to Trouble… that need fine-tuning. But the overall sound of the project is solid. D-Lock has a talent for aural stimulation: how to fit together the pieces of a beat to send the right signals to the brain. The bouncing guitars of “The Situation,” or the chimes of “Different Tactic,” mold easily into hip-hop beats fused with the support of the backing rhythms.
Wattson’s an MC who’s not afraid to challenge listeners with long rhymes or subject material that rises above lowest common denominator Hip-Hop. The album’s best track, “Strange Fruit,” delves into the bitterness and divisions created by the chase for money, both Hip-Hop and our country. Wattson deftly uses metaphors of fruit as money and draws comparisons between lynching of the Old South and the back-stabbing that goes on in the game today, over a muted trumpet sample that must have been born on the bayou.
Not every song is so serious in tone. “Relax,” drifts easily as Wattson effortlessly spits the “high-impact flow.” The song exemplifies his strengths and weaknesses as an MC: he spits dope multi-syllabic rhymes (“I’m always practicin raps and daily happenings at the breakfast table scratchin notes on my napkin.”) that showcase breath control, rhythmic understanding, and natural talent. But he questions his own talents in his lyrics, which while refreshing, belies his problem. He doesn’t always sound certain that his style will be accepted, despite his talent. And such uncertainty can rub off on the listener.
Overall though, the record serves as a good building block for Doc Wattson’s career and a treat for fans of quality Hip-Hop. If Wattson can stay focused on his strengths and add a dose of swagger, we could have some major trouble brewing in the Chi.