I have always been a fan of underground hip hop, or anything underground that is good. Some bands speak their minds through the lyrics in their songs; Blue Scholars is one of those bands that achieves that. Listen to the words from Blue School and you will be amazed about the lyrics that are said while not making them sound too intellectual. It’s surprising, I wish there are more groups like Blue Scholars out there. I’ll just throw some reviews about the group from other sites instead of writing a crappy review.
The Blue Scholars are a DJ-MC duo hailing from the green wooded western land of Seattle, Washington. Filipino emcee Geologic and Persian American DJ/Producer Sabzi will hit you with that ultra lyrically lyrical type of hip-hop without betraying the boom bap and choice samples. Their musical upbringing coincides with the “middle-school” era of hip-hop (Pharcyde, Nas, Wu-Tang, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Common) and the emergence of the local underground Seattle scene as a distinct region with a vibe all it’s own (post-Sir-Mix-a-lot).
These two scholars of beats and rhymes incorporate numerous musical and vocal styles into their work without abandoning hip-hop’s dual premise: to move both bodies and minds. This ultimately gives rise to a third premise of Blue Scholar music: to move that great intangible energy called soul.
Blue Scholars Boost Local Hiphop
by Charles Mudede
“Blue Scholars is an experiment in the hiphop tradition of the potent MC-DJ connection,” claims the first sentence of the bio posted on the Seattle-based duo’s website. “DJ/Producer Sabzi’s funk-inflected instrumentals provide a gritty, percussion-heavy texture that blends curiously with emcee Geologic’s poetic mic presence.” The proof of this statement’s accuracy can be found on Blue Scholars’ self-titled debut CD. The two do form a “potent MC-DJ connection.” However, if separated, both Sabzi’s beats and Geologic’s raps could easily stand alone as complete works of hiphop art.
To begin with, Geologic is brilliant because he is complex without being intellectual (which is certainly not the case with Minneapolis’ Eyedea or New York’s Aesop Rock). Geologic never uses big words, or speeds up his raps to produce pretentious blurs of meaning and sound; he is clear, and utilizes basic meters to communicate the most involved concepts about his city, country, and politics, which I believe are Marxist (“Blue is for the color of the collar of my mother and my father,” raps Geologic in “Bruise Brothers”).
As for Sabzi, his beats are hard to describe because they don’t suggest one or two direct points of origin. In his music, one hears several things at work–Pete Rock-like horns here, DJ Premier-like bass grooves there, and something that sounds like flowery funk comes out of nowhere. Though the ideas behind tracks like “Bruise Brothers,” “The Inkwell,” and “Evening Chai” are, like Geologic’s raps, basic, traditional, and comprehensible, somehow they manage to sound utterly new and even surprising.
This contradiction at the heart of Sabzi’s beats, matched with Geologic’s solid grasp of English grammar, makes for a wonderful journey through the many highs and very few lows that constitute the whole of Blue Scholar.