Words By Darius Sinclair â„¢
Visit your local web browser and type in “Bless 1.” You’ll discover one of Chicago’s elite unknown MC’s â€“ Bless 1, repping the Windy City’s Westside. Over the last year he’s garnered attention for his consistent lyrics, burly voice and a handful of hits on Myspace with the “Starving Artist.”
Hailing from Chicago, he’s bound to be compared to Common or Lupe. Although similarities are evident, one listen to his debut Starving Artist, you’ll have an idea of who he really is and listen as he steps out of shadows of the aforementioned.
Ten tracks strong, Starving Artist is an ideal underground debut. Passed to me by Wit-E, I gave it casual listen & found myself curiously entertained. After giving the CD a good listening, it soon got the “CD book treatment” and was added to the collection. A song like “A Place In The Sun” is perfect to preview what his message is really about: staying strong through the struggle in order to one day find a place in the sun.
The three tracks that really moved me and had me singing along were “Never Give Up”, “We”, and my favorite, “The Hunger.” The first two are radio friendly, with the upbeat verses, and the rare sing-songy hooks. My girl and cousin even were singing along to “Never never never never give up!” I think the hook, though, is nettlesome and diverts the listener from great lines like, “Some reproduce to escape death/ So I birth seeds through verbal intercourse like Rae the Chef/ Life’s decisions got me stuck like a bayonet/ Search the Bible for similarities to my daily tests.”
“The Hunger”, with a beat easily mistaken as a DJ Premier, is that mid-album banger that keeps you playing through the end of the disc. The drums and baseline keep your speakers knocking as the horns sample add more flavor to the already flawless beat. This awesome beat is equally matched by Bless 1’s message.
Bless 1 is not your average MySpace rapper. One thing I can recommend is that Bless get more personal and consistent with his words. A lot of his tracks seemed like he forced one or two lines to simply rhyme and not coincide with the song. The reason I point this out is because his songs are on another level than most hip-hop music. But with his subject matter, he will want to stay consistent and not force lines.
With content that isn’t contrived and above average beat selections, the album is a fitting one to help move Bless up the ranks of the underground. More work on his rhymes and growing as a lyricist will produce better products from Bless 1 in the near future. The flipside is that while it is a solid album, it may not be ready for mainstream exposure. Nonetheless, I’d keep tuning in to this guy because he’s a promising MC worth keeping an eye on.
Album available at www.Myspace.com/Bless1Music or feel free to click thru & give homeboy a donation for the free download.