Album Review, Adventures in Counter Culture by Blueprint
Blueprint once summed up the underground music scene with the lyrics: â€œIt’s just music man, ain’t no right or wrong. No formula can teach people how to write a song. No guarantee that people gonna like a song, so let me end this sh*t and get my album doneâ€¦â€
Blueprint was preparing his fans for his next album release–which was sure to be, if anything, completely unique. Fans who know him well were already privy to his â€˜against the grainâ€™ approach to writing music. His style has resonated with fans, as well as some major players in the music industry. Illogic teamed up with Blueprint to create â€œGreenhouse Effectâ€ which came out with an album as recently as last year. Additionally, RJD2-arguably the most talented and well known producer in underground hip hop, teamed up with him to create â€œSoul Position,â€ whose albums have been favorably reviewed by fans and critics alike.
As an individual artist, Blueprint has one previous EP released through Rhymesayers called, â€œ1988â€ which was also critically acclaimed. But that was a long time ago (2005), and fans began to get antsy waiting for his next release. He went quiet for 6 years, doing occasional guest work on other artistâ€™s albums (BK-One: Radio do Cannibal), and then there was â€œAdventures in Counter Culture,â€ and fans rejoiced.
‘Adventures’ is an album to be proud of. From the listenerâ€™s perspective, itâ€™s the type of album that you can play for someone unfamiliar with Blueprint and illicit the response, â€œWhy havenâ€™t I heard this before?â€ From the perspective of hip hop critics, itâ€™s the type of album that proves beyond any rational doubt that new music is still out there, yet to be discovered. The sound is unique, the rhythms are intricately developed, the production is impeccable, and the lyrics are intellectual and progressive.
As an album, Adventures is more artistic than it is catchy. Instead of immediately falling in love with one specific song, this music takes a while to grow on you. Thatâ€™s not to imply that the music isnâ€™t enjoyable right away-it is. But the beats are not simple. One measure doesnâ€™t simply repeat itself over and over. Rather, the beats are composed of longer patterns which donâ€™t repeat on themselves for 16-32 measures. The effect this has on the listener is that the song is difficult to fully comprehend after listening only once. It forces you to listen to it again and again in order to grasp what the song is all about.
Immediate fan favorites are sure to be the tracks, â€œWanna Be Like You,â€ â€œKeep Bouncing,â€ and â€œThe Rise and Fall.â€ In addition, so many other tracks seem to really grow on the listener, which is why this album is one for the long haul.
Blueprint is known for being a lyricist. His lines are always delivered with distinct rhythm qualities, and the rhyme structure never seems forced or out of place. However, in this album he took it a step further. In addition to his rapping, Blueprint spends quite a few tracks showing off his singing voice. Surprisingly, he is a gifted vocalist as well as lyricist. The Tracks â€œWelcome Home,â€ and â€œThe Other Side,â€ display his newfound talents very well, with most of the lyrics sung, and not rapped.
â€œAdventures in Counter Cultureâ€ is a very solid album. Each track deserves praise, and while it may have taken Blueprint a little longer than most to release his second EP, the wait was worth-while. This album is very likely to inspire new artists, and new music, and with any luck it may even inspire Blueprint to release another album sooner than 6 years this time.