Who knew New Zealand rocked? You better act like you know. I gotta admit my Hip-Hop listening has been confined mostly to America but its rapidly expanding. Case in point is the self-titled project from @Peace. This Auckland collaboration is made up of local heroes Tom Scott of Homebrew and Lui Tuiasau of Nothing To Nobody.
Now a couple of my problems with some international (ahem British) Hip-Hop have been rhythm deficiency with slang and accents too thick to pierce. You won’t find that problem here; in fact if you’re not listening carefully, you may miss their accents completely which would be a shame because that adds to @Peace’s charm.
Now I could make comparisons with @Peace and certain Golden Age heroes but I’ll let you judge for yourself. Let’s just say them boys good and only get better on repeated listens. This album vibrates with everyman themes and blue-collar anthems everyday folks can relate to, no one’s watching or sitting on any thrones here.
A plus, in my book, is that there is no filler, just 9 songs at forty minutes with no skippers. You can throw this on and let it ride. But it won’t be a destination to nowhere; @Peace definitely takes you on a journey from the most welcoming comfortable place (home) to beyond the veil. There are undertones of social commentary and spirituality but nothing that’s heavy handed or preachy. In fact the overall tone of this album is casual, effortless, and light.
So, let me highlight some of my favorite joints: “Disfunktional” is the broke dude in love song with a chorus that goes:
“Money can’t buy you love/ But I can’t buy you Shhh/ So you gotta buy me lunch/ Then we start arguing/ And you win/ it’s like dis funk/ dis funk/ dis funk/ dis funk/ tional/ ional!”
Now this song (and album for that matter) does not cover any new ground but every topic @Peace touches is done with wit and genuine he(art). “Be Like”, a song dedicated to Karl Marx and Huey P. Newton, takes a look at society from a working man’s perspective. “Sky Is Falling” is a melancholy tune reflecting on lost and life while the song “@Peace” contemplates life’s lost.
I’m a lyrics man myself but at the same time I can’t listen to even the dopest lyricist when the music isn’t appealing (*Cough*Nas). Again, @Peace delivers with solid jazzy boom bap production while the Emcees’ lyrics, flow, and wit are on point and enjoyable. I definitely recommend this album and you can download it via their Bandcamp page for “name your price” but please throw these cats some scratch because good work deserves a reward. Download via Bandcamp