Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
In this review, I’m going to be delving into five tracks from Tha Wreking Ball’s new twelve track album, entitled ‘Say Hello To Tha Good Guy.’ The persona is the moniker of Paul Sahagun, a man who has been rapping for the better part of nearly two decades. His work has been nothing short of prolific, including an extensive dabbling in instrumental performance. He’s a non-secular performer, which is most certainly a rarity in the hip hop community. Let’s dig into his new tunes.
The opening of ‘Say Hello To The Good Guy,’ the title track, took me a bit by surprise. Essentially, I haven’t heard hip hop lyrics that were this motivational or uplifting in years. It’s a clean sound that centralizes around Tha Wreking Ball’s faith. The instrumentation is incredibly well organized, though the synthesizers do overpower Sahagun’s vocals a bit too much at times. He’s not going to “stand by and let the game be won by dirty bad guys.” This sets the tone for the rest of the record. He’s on a mission.
‘Dance Like David’ is an incredibly stark contrast to the title song. This song feels rooted in house music and electronica. It is, though, infused with Wreking Ball’s flavor of hip hop. It’s remarkably well performed and I think he’s a fine lyricist and performer. I found the composition to be overproduced, however, as if his tactful delivery is somewhat retracted by such a heavy, thick production. With that said, it’s still quite good. (I particularly like his toying with the panning of the left and right speakers.)
‘I Won’t Say Die’ seems to be a hybrid of the heavy house influence and Wreking Ball’s hip hop. This is by far the best of the five tracks. It’s sharply produced, excellently written, and I love the electronic backing. ‘Life Is Good,’ however, does eclipse it in some ways. The full version of this epic is one of the finest indie hip hop pieces I’ve heard all year. It’s infectiously catchy, insanely well performed, and wholly original.
Finally, the closing track of the album is ‘Hear My Cries,’ a minimalistic tune with compelling lyrics. Musically, it has some of the strongest efforts, accentuating the lead drastically better than the overpowering nature of ‘Dance Like David.’ Also, the song employs some R&B influence, making this powerful number one to remember.
I really, really dig Tha Wreking Ball. His music is genuine and authentic. More so, he plays with a variety of influences and ‘Say Hella To Tha Good Guy’ benefits massively from it. Aside from my quips about some overproduction here and there, it’s a firmly rooted effort very much worth your time.