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City Paper Review: E Major ‘Majority Rules’

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Here’s my review of Baltimore rapper E Major’s album ‘Majority Rules’. Later today, look for a follow-up post with some mp3s and additional info on E. For now, here’s the review and here’s E’s MySpace:

“Despite its many puns on “major,” independence pervades Majority Rules. E Major’s album–available on CD and free download on his MySpace–succeeds because it’s an uncompromised 17-track drive through the rapper’s life. This is more than enough, now that even your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper drops a major-label mess of crossover attempts and corporate accord.

Early tracks invoke everyman realities, such as tension between paying rent and pursuing a dream: “I hope you’re listenin’, y’all, because if not/ it’s back to 40 hours a week punching the clock” (from “Magnificent Pt. 0″). “Next Episode” charts an adolescence bouncing between Baltimore and California, and tosses in some wistful rap-nerd references–”me and my homies recited lines from Black Moon”–atop taut boom-bap by DJ Face with scratches from BMore Original’s DJ Excel. E further explores the porous borders of Baltimore club and traditional hip-hop on “How You Wanna Carry It,” a song that grabs its hook from Miss Tony’s classic “What’s Up What’s Up”.

As the album moves along, E Major perseveres, so when the Excel-produced “Don’t Worry”–the “I’m finally making it” song–explodes, it’s earned. The rewards are there, but they’re simple stuff like Nike Dunks only available in Japan, and the joy is still tempered by a final verse for a friend who passed before E’s rap shit kinda popped off. It has what every track on Majority Rules has: a proper mix of swagger and sincerity–as E says on “A Fresh Start,” “present my sentiment without being too sentimental”–atop remarkably consistent soul beats.”

Written by Brandon

June 19th, 2008 at 8:21 am

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