By March 23, 2012

Music You Need to Own: Volume 3 by Maxilla Blue

My Music You Need to Own series discusses music I like so much that I think you need to own it — and I’m willing to back my opinion up by giving away the featured track or album in MP3 format.

Rap group Maxilla Blue has been together since 2006, and they may be one of the best hip hop band you’ve never heard of. Their latest album Volume 3 was released online about a month ago. I was lucky enough to get an advance copy by my friend JoeNuff and have been listening to it for quite some time.

Maxilla Blue’s style is familiar enough to hip hop fans to be accessible, and is reminds me of Mos Def, Talib Kweli or maybe Common. The beats created by Aeon Grey and cut by DJ TouchNice are a soulful tapestry for lead rapper Asphate Woodhavet. You may recognize the sound a bit from Aeon Grey’s contribution to the BumRap album I mentioned back in November of 2011.

I believe the third album is a major turning point for most artists. They have to make a big decision: refine their prior sound, or strike out in a new musical direction. Maxilla Blue’s Volume 3 album is a refinement; it’s easy to see how they arrived if you’re familiar with their previous works. This is not meant to imply a Offspring-esque regurgitation of past albums. Rather, Volume 3 everything that makes Maxilla Blue different from “mainstream” hip-hop and accentuates it.

The music is really rich and wonderful. “Fire & Rain” is incredibly introspective and is a wonderful soundtrack for motorcycling through downtown Minneapolis in the rain. Asphate’s deep voice somehow interjects into no matter what I’m doing and compels me to pay attention. “Saliva Live” is probably my favorite overall track on the album.

Please give Maxilla Blue’s latest album Volume 3 a spin. They share enough common elements with “conscious” rap artists for my pals who realize rap is more than club bangers or booty rap. However, they are accessible enough that my other pals who don’t know the difference between an MC or a hype man can enjoy it.

As stated earlier, I’m giving away a free digital copy of Volume 3 on Amazon or iTunes.

In order to enter, please leave a comment here or like this post on Facebook.

I’ll announce the winner one week from now on Friday, March 30 2012.

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Posted in: music, review

3 Comments on "Music You Need to Own: Volume 3 by Maxilla Blue"

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  1. Aeon Grey says:

    Just want to say thanks.

  2. Ed says:

    What is the difference between MC and Hype?

  3. DrFaulken says:

    Strictly from a music perspective, the MC is the artist responsible for providing the majority of the lyrics on a rap track. There may be one or many MCs on a song.

    A hype man is responsible for getting the crowd into the performance. The hype man does so verbally by engaging the crowd in the traditional call and response pattern, such as:

    “When I say ‘doctor’ you say ‘faulken!’ Doctor!”

    “FAULKEN!”

    “Doctor!”

    “FAULKEN!”

    The hype man may also speak the MC’s last word or words in a stanza as an accentuation.

    In my mind, the quintessential MC/hype man combo is Chuck D and Flavor Flav from Public Enemy. While Flavor Flav has acted as the MC on a few tracks, he is probably the prototypical hype man.

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