United States of Mind and The Metro Times

It’s that time of year again where the Metro Times sends out their Best of Polls.  Of course these things are silly, but per usual I’m petty enough to want to win some shit so I can front to my parents like I’m making progress in this world.  And I happen to belong to a few categories so if you could be so kind holla at ya boy one time.  here is where you can fill in my name.

Best in Culture

Best Local Hip-Hop Artist or Group – United States of Mind
Local Artist or Group with Best Chance of Going National – United States of Mind

Best Nightlife

Best Bar for Under 30s – The Bosco
– The Bosco
– David Strauss (yes…use the government name)
As usual thanks for your support as it means the world to me.  It would be great if we win it will help out our cause greatly.

1 rule on this thing though you gotta at least voted for 20 things in Detroit (place to eat hang out etc. etc.) if you don’t fill out 20 your ballot won’t go through.

PS. If you got people that can help out please forward this thing to them…Im sure with a lil effort we can take this

Tell us what’s Best — that’s your move to wrestle an invite to the BEST PARTY OF THE YEAR. Once again, as we have since 1986, we’re asking MT readers to point us to what’s best in metro Detroit, greasy …

Chief’s “Broken” Ironically Comes Together

Whaddup yall,

Been a minute since I blogged as usual, but it means I’m busy outside of the net so it’s all good.  Anyway’s I’ve been meaning to get at you about my boy Chief’s new album for the last couple weeks but am just finding the time now to sit down at this computer.  Goes without saying as I don’t promote ish I don’t like, but let me hit you with the disclaimer.  I have known Chief for quite some time and we’ve shared many beers and many shows as we toured together last year.  Now that you know my bias here goes nothing….

To really get the experience of Chief you have to check out a live show which I had the pleasure of doing by attending the album release party for this project.  I’m not gonna say his music is for everyone as the masses enjoy that whack shit, but the people that are in to Chief’s music hang on his every word like it is the gospel.  He really speaks to a certain demographic that is diverse but also quite niche pertaining to specific experiences around the Detroit area, but ghetto’s and suburbs surrounding them are found everywhere I guess (meaning you don’t have to be from around Detroit to get it, but it helps).  At his show he ran through a catalog of material and the crowd knew all the tracks like it was Jay Z at the Garden or some shit.  As I’m not an expert at the body of work Chief has released I had to ride with the CD in the car for a week to get a feel for what this specific project was talking about.  Needless to say it hasn’t left the CD player too much.  Here are my thoughts specifically on the CD.

Chief “Broken” Review

I don’t know what it is exactly what people love about Chief and I’m sure there are an array of reasons, but if I could take a guess it is that Chief is a man extremely comfortable in his own skin and it shines through in his music.  He speaks his mind (i know this is what all artists are supposed to do, or at least they front like they do, but Chief has a uniquely direct way of letting you know how he feels) and leaves it up to you to hate it or love it.  However, it would seem that Chief is most comfortable in pain and that pain is what connects you to his music whether you can relate or perhaps feel better about your problems. I was telling a friend that after listening to this CD i felt like giving into all my vices and just saying fuck it.  For some reason I MEAN THAT AS A COMPLIMENT.  You figure it out.

As an EP the CD covers an amazing amount of ground in terms of mood, subject, and feel while staying true to its downtempo and headphone roots which get close to stretching the bounds of what hip hop is considered.

Starting off with “This Cloud ft. Rusty” Chief acknowledges his pain but you feel like there is a desire to climb out from the under and win.

On “Broken” which is the title track and my favorite track, he discusses what is probably one of his and all man’s greatest vices in terms of a woman and it also works if it is a metaphor for hip hop.  Just because you are broken doesn’t mean you can’t find and be in love.

With “Lesson in Love ft. Kiko” Chief finishes the woman thought out with a sick lesson in vocal harmony from Kiko.  This lady absolutely killed it and should be checked for on the solo tip if she has any work out.  The last verse begins an emotional ascension of sorts.  Taking a departure from just pointing out the flaws and mistakes there is a desire to change.

On “Gotta Stop Running” finds a little help from his friends as Phathom rips this track to shreds as far as you can tear up a downtempo track.  Hook is dope.

On of my favorite phrases is “If you don’t know where you’re coming from, where would you go”.  Chief acknowledges his love of this phrase on “Days I Remember” which is the lead single.  This is probably the most feel good track on the album in my opinion and as we are a reminiscent generation, I think everyone will appreciate this track.  Good choice for the single, but i wanna see anything from track 2-4 get released next (my vote is “Broken”)

“In Times Things Change” is not my cup of tea, but I wouldn’t consider it a miss but this  is also a feel good and inspirational tracks (perhaps I myself am too bitter to truly appreciate the inspirational. lol or that’s actually not that funny if true).

“SODC” puts me right back on track with the program.  This song can give you a sense of pride if you’re sharing the same experience as Chief is.  As he has this desire to change, he’s also trying to love every moment on the in between time. And isn’t that when life happens.

“Vinnie Johnson” is the closer and the most perfect way to end this CD.  Although we all have to handle serious business, you gotta have fun and enjoy yourself and that’s exactly what Chief does with this joint.  As the rest of the CD is extremely up close and personal, this is an ode to the punchline style and attitude that Detroit is probably most known for.

I usually won’t go through every song when reviewing, but this is a shorter project and the man is saying something on every track.  This ain’t a club project but if you’re into that you’re not reading this anyways.  To me this is one of those “Headphone Masterpieces”.  You will enjoy this most in your bedroom with the lights low and just zone out, or when driving in your car alone thinking about your path.  The production is tight (check the credits and know i could write a book of compliments on everyone involved), there is real substance to the lyrics, and it is a complete project in a world filled with singles and ringtones. What more do you want?  I could go on and on but I have my own struggles to attend to.  Cop this from www.megaroyal.com (CLICK ALBUM COVERS ABOVE TO JUMP TO SITE) and tell em Large Marge sent ya.  In a minute yall.