Wow! I’ve been handed so many free CD’s and mixtapes over the years. Everybody’s a rapper and everybody has a mix tape that you need to check out. Unfortunately, most of these turn out to be crap du jour. Very little skill and a lot less talent. It’s usually bedroom studio juvenile raps and beats. However…every now and then you find that diamond in the rough…
Look, go ‘head and give this a listen as you continue to read what I gotta say about it…
It wasn’t too long ago that fate would find me at a Hip Hop show enjoying some of the best that the Bay Area has to offer. I’m enjoying myself, bobbing my head, having some laughs and rocking my Bored Stiff shirt. After a bit this dude strolls up rocking the same BS tee but in SF Giants Orange and Black. Whatuptho. We rapped for a bit about our common support for Bored Stiff and Bay Area Hip Hop in general. Then he proceeded to hand me a CD that he swore was dope and was the work of his son. Ok, cool. He probably has good musical taste but like I said, everyone has a mix tape that you need to hear. I was hoping that it would have at least one or two good tracks on it but I wasn’t ready to bet on that. Let me tell you this tho, that same night I bought 2 CD’s by artists I’ve been supporting for years and did have high hopes for. Well, in the following weeks I’ve spent more time listening to that free CD than I have to the other 2 albums I got that night combined (notice I’m not naming names).
What I got that night was Champlu’s Elevated Mental. Yo, this young dude gives me hope. Kid needs to be heard so I’m doing my due diligence and trying to pass the good word on to you good people. First off, he’s selected some hella dope beats by producers like Flying Lotus, Kev Brown, Elaquent, 14KT, and Ski Beats. He even gets down on some production himself. Beats aside, this kid is nice on the mic. Good content, fresh delivery, and absolutely not forced or contrived.
What does it sound like? Well, if you still haven’t pressed play up above, I’d hafta say that it’s cut out of the same cloth as that of the Living Legends, Bored Stiff, The Cuf, and Hieroglyphics. Yeah, it’s got that same feel. He’s got a track (The Sky) that sounds like Eligh of Living Legends could have done the hook for. He’s got Equipto of Bored Stiff featured on a track (Why). There’s a certain Bay Area style that permeates throughout the tracks. If you like Hip Hop at all, I’m gonna go ahead and guarantee that you’ll like at least one track on this project. That’s my word.
I love when young people have something to say and aren’t just trying to be rappers because that’s what’s cool. Champlu is about more than just self-engulfed raps and braggadocio. He fancies himself “the voice of the youth” and stresses the importances of being in touch with your higher self. This is a breath of fresh air in a climate that’s consuming itself with cookie cutouts and advertisements for alcohol and clothing lines. Even when he’s talking about chasing money, he calls himself out on his contradictions (One In The Same). Not too many young cats pointing out their flaws these days. Most of them are too concerned about how they’ll be viewed. This kid’s real.
What’s wrong? Having trouble digesting lyrics with substance? – Champlu
Do yourself a favor and download this project. I hope to hear more from Champlu in the very near future. Actually, I hope more people hear this and something major comes out of it. I mean, look what happened with Joey Bada$$. People heard his free projects (full of fresh beats and dope rhymes) and BOOM he’s doing joints with DJ Premier and Pete Rock. Here’s hoping something similar happens for this guy. He deserves it. Pay it forward and pass it on, good people.