Qwel & Meaty Ogre: Freezer Burner

MC Qwel (Typical Cats) and beat producer Meaty Ogre showcase some noteworthy hip-hop skills on Galapogos4's Freezerburner. It's a solid effort, one thankfully free of interludes and time-wasting frivolity, that finds conscientious flow married to punchy boom-bap; at the same time, while one never doubts the passion driving Qwel's delivery, over the length of an album his haranguing style proves wearying—something one can't say for Meaty Ogre's banging beats and richly orchestrated backings. A snarling guitar riff and a tight break power the melancholy “Saved” and the crushing “Fallen Rome” and snakepit beats render “High Tithe” equally memorable. In addition, the soulful “Practice For Hope” is crowned by a jubilantly singing flute melody while “Winterlude” shows how powerfully MO's dubbed-out attack rattles the cage all by its lonesome. “Read Writer” succeeds nicely too, with Qwel's syllable-packed flow nicely offset by a female's plaintive voice (“This is my life”). Even better is the scathing indictment of hip-hop sell-outs that finds Qwel pondering how his writing might be judged after he dies: “I don't want God standing in front of me and bein' like ‘What're you talkin' about and what's this crap?': ‘Let me see your thong? Or it's getting hot in here take off all your clothes?' Man, if cats are listening to me, I want to say something important to them.” Can't argue with that.

December 2006