Published: Thursday – April 29, 2010
It sure feels good to start over. That’s exactly what Carl B. does In the Beginning. In fact, the opening track, “Q&A,” features him telling an interviewer, who asks him why he doesn’t disclose info about his past street life, “I really don’t speak on a lotta things, it’s about the music.”
Repping the Bay area to the fullest, Carl B., reveals an alternative style to the hyphy hype that has dominated mainstream, commercial perceptions of the Bay on the seven track, two bonus cut EP. He can only be contrasted to E-40 and Keak Da Sneak in that he reps his hood. Carl’s style and flow are consistently complimentary to numerous styles of hip-hop, revealing his wide range of influences from Snoop and Nas to Andre 3000.
Carl B’s message is one of uplift. On one of his bonus track, “Watch Me,” features his sister, Monica Murphy, who sings on a few of Carl’s tracks, “We gonna make it anyway/ don’t care what no-no-no-no-no nobody say/ we’re gonna make it, can’t bring me down/ we’re gonna make it.”
Tracks like “What We See” and “Daily Newspaper” are proof that Carl is no stranger to struggle and sacrifice. The instrumentals for the other bonus track, “What We See” use a sample from Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye’s, “Stop, Look, Listen.” You remember the sample…think ’03 Smilez & Southstar and Murder Inc. beef. Carl spits, “Life in the Matrix, unplugged/ where these girls see fancy cars and jewels and confuse that with love…Death around the corner, so I tatted up my arm with freedom songs of a soldier/ secrets of the evil man, turn that money over/ it’s death before dishonor, with the heart of a warrior.” Again, Murphy is featured, repeating, “All I see is trouble in the streets.”
It’s refreshing to hear an album that focuses on a lifestyle that’s different than what’s displayed daily on the tube and through corporate owned radio waves. Throughout the album, I am reminded what it was like In the Beginning of hip-hop.
Carl B. is not all serious. He has a song for the females, “Monalisa,” something for the Bay, “Frisco Fresh,” and his sunny, Cali-like lead single, “All Around the World.”
When hip-hop has been completely destroyed with money, cars, and clothes as its murderer, when it’s all over, there will need to be a new beginning. I see a new hip-hop In the Beginning.
All Around the World
Far Away From Home
I’m Fly Baby
What We See