Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Next 757 artists to blow?

There is an amazing amount of talent here, in the 757 (Hampton Roads) area of Southeastern Virginia. Everything from models to actors to DJ's and rappers. Even hosts & writers...AHEM. I tell the younger upstarts that the way to "get on", is to bring something totally different to the table. When you think about the successful musicians from this area, you think Chad Hugo & Pharrell Williams (Neptunes, N.E.R.D.), Missy Elliott, Timbaland, Clipse, and even Bruce Hornsby.

The common denominator with all of those people: they all did things nobody else was doing, and sounded like nobody else, while doing it. There was not even close to another song out that sounded like Hornsby's "The Way It Is" when it came out. It was even sampled by Tupac. How many artists can say that? I'm digressing...

In this writer's worthless opinion, the next group to make it big, from the 757? Hampton University's group called ReKaSte. The "E" is silent. This 3-man collective has performed at Fuzzy Wednesdays, and has regular gigs at Blurr Bistro & Ultra Lounge. ReKaSte consists of singers, "Stevie Visionz" & "Recipe", and DJ Kal, who is also the group's rapper. They give you a high-energy live show, mixing in a few covers. My favorite, being N.E.R.D.'s "Thrasher".

ReKaSte recently released their 1st studio album, "Dreams Out Of Our Ears". Now, when I hear about "local" groups and their releases, the efforts tend to be grossly over-produced and under-performed, resulting in an auditory mess. This 1st album, available on iTunes and the band's website, www.rekaste.com, is a surprisingly winning combination of R & B, hip-hop, alternative electronica, and even a little beat-box driven doo-wop.

There is a good range of vibes on this album. Let's talk about some notable tracks...

"That ReKaSte"-This is the opening track, a swaggering pace of a beat, with a smooth flow of DJ Kal's lyrics. Balanced out by Stevie Visionz' smooth vocals. They tell you how their critics doubted them, without sounding like some whining babies...

"Clear It Out"-This is probably the hardest hip-hop track on the album. It features who I see as an unofficial member of the band, rapper Charlie Streetz. Streetz' growling style basically tells you, "don't say it behind my back. Come see me and we can 'Clear It Out'".

"Next Joint"-is one for the ladies. Even though the vocals are auto-tuned, this is a melodic, well-produced song. I would put it on my CD of joints for a chick I'm trying to wife up.

"Listen To Your Heart"-This is one of my personal favorites on the project. Epic production value. The overlays are well thought out and bananas! Great vocals on a well-written chorus, with rapped verses that you can feel. These cats really show their "human side" on this one.

The rest of "Dreams Out Of Our Ears" is by NO means throwaway tracks. I urge you to give it a listen. Again, it's available on their website and on iTunes. ReKaSte also has a YouTube channel, with even more of their music. Watch for them!

Whether you're in VA, or wherever...these cats deserve to be heard. Call me what you want...

ReKaSte also is on Twitter. @ReKaSte @DJKal85 @StevieVisionz @cdotstreetz