'Gumbo' sees the return of Badcrop MC Cleophus for his second Grow Room release, presenting a confronting body of work both in terms of sonic substance and poetic content.
On the one-hand Gumbo embodies the development of Cleophus’ left field production style, pairing his Roland SP-404 with other musical tools at his disposal in a way that is at once jarring yet also surprisingly complimentary. Disjointed beats clash against discordant samples, somehow working effectively to set a comfortable platform for Cleophus and his vocal work; painting poetry over a discordant canvas with militant vocal flows and a well-informed vocabulary palette.
Apart from what can be heard sonically, Gumbo also gives the audience potent glimpses into the mind and deeper history of the man behind the music, presenting a revealing account of his personal history as well as extensive African-American roots through lyrical content and vocal skits (Cleophus includes an audio excerpt of his own birth in his track ‘kinghayesfarm’) all the while channeling inner-frustrations and distaste towards certain aspects of the current New Zealand Hip-Hop climate.
This a wholly expository and intimate body of work, the artists guard is down and we as listeners have access to material connected to deeply-rooted experiences, histories, beliefs and mental dialogue.
released November 11, 2016
Production/Mixing/Mastering/Vocals: Ethan 'Cleophus' King
Artwork: Donna Evelyn Hayes
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