...in the form of Big Rec (actually it's the name of his latest project). I'm not sure that "real hip hop" as he sees it ever really went anywhere, it's just harder to locate, especially if you rely upon mainstream radio or television for that kind of music. That would be disheartening to say the least. It's out there, though...just not getting any money or attention. Big Rec is reppin' my hometown Atlanta via Oklahoma via New Orleans, and in my personal opinion he is quite the lyrical monster.
Last year Collective Efforts shared the bill with his supergroup The 5ive (five dope MCs that met in the ATL battle rap circuit and decided to combine forces) and Diamond D (who also provided the group with some production and a cameo verse). Although all five MCs wrecked shop, Big Rec definitely lived up to his name with his high energy, relentless multis and captivating stage presence. The first words that popped into mind when I saw him rapping were BATTLE and BEAST, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that his off-stage personality is quite the opposite. Without a hint of arrogance he maneuvered through the crowd, politely and humbly introducing himself to fans and other artists. Stylistically, he has a tendency to drop multi-syllabic battle rhymes that may offend the sensibilities of some listeners (those who would prefer not to be aurally bombarded with quote after quote of ceaseless self-aggrandizing). [Note the conversation he had with what appears to be RecZilla's biggest fan judging from the number of times he commented on his video.] But in the world of "real" hip hop, of which Big Rec is a proud representative, that is exactly the mission. You must convince the audience that you are the best, and let all scrub MCs know that they need to step up their unimpressive simpleton lines and never again get in the way of the complete lyrical dominance being witnessed...or to quote a young Aceyalone, "Every rapper in the house shut the f*ck up!"
I admit the battle rap scene does bore me, as it just gets more and more predictable (granted once I hit thirty the whole thing just seemed adolescent and contrived). But Big Rec does not bore me, and it's not just his constant barrage of meticulously crafted phrases that keeps me listening, it's his genuine passion for the art form that shines through and really makes him stand out from the mediocrity - that and the strong voice, which always helps. I am looking forward to hearing some big things from Big Rec, and maybe even collaborating with him on a track (those wheels are already in motion).
Sidenote: I don't want to call him out, because this can also be perceived as a weakness in the minds of fickle rap purists, but Rec can sing, too. The 5ive tracked their verses for one of the Diamond D joints over at the CE Estate, and he had a singing part on it. I wasn't recording it, but I heard it from the other room, and afterwards I had to find out who it was. Solid.
For more info on the artist and his projects, check the sites below.