AzMattic pulls out another project from up his sleeve, makin moves in big steps. Following up from his DIVIDED music video, and a collab project with RhymSter, THE JAZZ CIGARRETTE. With each big move it seems AzMattic comes with a feel good message over some lo-fi jazzy hip hop beats. With his recent release, MIND OVER METAPHORS, Pt. 1, we get more positive energy with a dope flow.
Saturated in old school energy, whether he spits over jazzy beats or hip hop, it would be reminiscent to boom bap. With his lyrics balancing words of struggle and perseverance with a good attitude and peace of mind. Starting off MIND OVER METAPHORS with ONE DAY, the tone is set with a soundbite from Waynes World, bridging into a strong chorus. “One day you gone blow up big and get paid, yeah, it’ll happen one of these days,” an easy and joyful chorus that would no doubt set a room off with chanting a live setting.
Continuing the project on the same vibe, with great appreciation on the first lines of the next tune AWAKEN. “I just do it cause i love it, it’s hard to manage when you ballin on a budget fuck it.” Vereses would Compare people and artists that do it for the love of it like himself, and others that do it for the clout and money. The beat itself can take you on Cloud 9, with a repetitive but smooth melody and a head bumpin beat pattern.
MIND OVER METAPHORS does not stuttuer in its energy, especially when it’s time to crack brews on the next track, JIMMY BUFFET. Each transition between tracks is bridged with some Hollywood and political quote excerpts, highlighting a tone of gratitude, ambition and aloofness. However chill AzMattic is, he shows you how you can be braggadocios and zen in JAY & SILENT BOB. It seems AzMattics vibe us unbreakable and the quality in his MIND OVER METAPHORS is projected into these 6 tracks with Shin-Ski!
It is no question the social and political atmosphere in America is in question, and tensions between the elite & political classes and the working class is at an all time high. AzMattic expresses his thoughts on the situation laying down some bars on a paced hip hop beat. DIVIDED comes out as a music video, taking place in what looks like a political office and scenes from a news program, as AzMattic takes on the disguise of a career politician with the gray hair, mustache, suit & tie, doing the only thing politicians can do correctly; practicing golf and wasting time. This will be a follow up to his EP Project THE JAZZ CIGARETTE with RhymSter.
A political tune may not the sexiest music idea, but AzMattic lays it down smoothly with cool flow and compassion, remaining as neutral as Switzerland. Following a soundbite of known political crook Richard Nixon, AzMattic says out loud what we are all thinking quietly, “It’s pitiful that they can be this criminal, and we just have to take it like some vacant individuals. This ain’t forgivable, it’s time to make another option, I’m talking starting fresh and eliminating all corruption.” But he also lays out more than just a solution, but a blueprint, “Search your local shop keeper when you seek consumption, if you want to hurt them, then you got to hit their pockets; they wont notice change until they notice that there’s loss of profits.” But until we stand up and take charge and responsibility of America ourselves as individuals, might as well turn up the volume on this AzMattic music video; it is just as much political theater as what you see on your television, but with more knowledge and effectiveness.
Azmattic and RhymSter come together as a lyrically monstrous and formidable songwriting duo. THE JAZZ CIGARETTE, which features various producers from around the world as well as local Chicago recording artists, is a breeze through listen, and instant underground hip hop classic. Authentic jazz samples, breaks, beats and flavorful singing hooks make the LP something that brings you back, while also reminding you just how fresh the duo’s cuts are.
The first single off the record is HOP SKIP & JUMP 2.0, featuring Mike Booth aka TrueDeal, and production by Trog’Low; A truly nostalgic sound in this track, bringing the listener back to that early 90’s, heavy sampled vibe with succinct rhyme structure. “I need some time baby, we only time baby, but maybe we can get some time, cause it’s our time baby, and no I haven’t been around. I’m on my grind lately, and I’m not good at many things but I can rhyme greatly.” Azmattic raps over the beat, a unique way of saying he is been working hard and philosophizing about the passage of time. Mike Booth adds his deep bass vocals to the hook of this track, and RhymSter raps “Hit the blunt with an ice coffee, an AM meal, life wanna break down my walls, but I’m the man of steel.” Relating his morning ritual and the idea of never giving up. The track is a solid bang right off the bat and a great intro for the LP.
RHYMIN DUDES is the next song off the record featuring Jai The Artist, J-Bose and the 2nd tune also produced by Trog’Low. J-Bose’s voice is the strongest on the hook, but you can also hear Jai and Azmattic. A super fast and upbeat track, with an upright bass sample and speedy raps, crafts this song into a jazz-hop banger. Azmattic and RhymSter both add their respective verses, and really challenge each other in terms of lyrical dexterity and speed. “Do you, understand my persistence, while I ran into the distance, you can plan your superstition like its voo-doo,” and RhymSter comes in immediately after AzMattic with a chopped tempo eventually slowing down with, “Things fall apart but check your head, keep yourself on ice, its do or die and I’m the main ingredient for life!”
The next notable song off the record is ICED COFFE AND BLUNTS, another track featuring Mike Booth. RhymSter and AzMattic trade short bar verses back and forth while describing their musician lifestyle in the form of coffee consumption and heavy cannabis. This song is a great listen, amazing lyrics being volleyed back and forth, like a tennis match between RhymSter and AzMattic, ending with the soulful vocals of the freestyle monster, Mike Booth. “Iced coffee and blunts!…You put the ice in the coffee.“
The interlude track is a hilarious banter by the Illadvised and Unprepared Podcast, ending with a the strength of the amazing voice of FAFA. WHAT YOU GONNA DO, featuring Jai The Artist and U’Nique Music, is a change up being a much more slow bop jam. RhymSter starts off the song with many cultural references, leading into a short verse from Azmattic. Jai The Artist and Azmattic take the hook which is a soulful chant, “What You Gonna Do?” RhymSter comes back in with, “Don’t be major in minor things, how you do anything is how you do everything,” a line that smacks you back to the drawing board and makes you realize, one may need to get their shit together! Later RhymSter shouts out the Robber Baron for getting the capital to invest. This track evoked a lot of introspective thought, because many of the lines by both RhymSter and Azmattic pose deeply interesting questions.
I GOT feat. Jah-Dee begins with a scratch sample of the aforementioned, older hip hop artist saying, “Welcome to the next level!” Azmattic begins this song rapping, “Yeah this boy is more hip than what’s attached to your femur,” with every subsequent line explaining how hip hop and rapping keeps him alive as a sort of therapy. RhymSter later rhymes, “I rolled up another cigarette and put the Jazz in it, ain’t it clear I came here to win it… I’m a doctor in practice, playing like the point guard on the mavericks.” This song gets you in your motivational feels, and makes you want to pick up a pen to get to the next level.
Out of the entire project, “IF I LEFT THE GAME” is the most contemporary sounding song. Azmattic begins the track comparing himself to Barry Sanders, and saying that just because he lacks the riches one can earn from rap, does not mean he is going to stop making music anytime soon. RhymSter comes in with the second verse comparing himself to MJ, when he came back to the Bulls in 1995. RhymSter hits some fast chopping flows on this verse, and then slows down, very dynamic.
As a whole package, this project has everything a hip hop head could want and more! If you are looking for lyrics, breaks, boom bap beats, dynamic flows, soulful hooks, fast rap, introspective lyricism, chant along tracks, etc, THE JAZZ CIGARETTE by Azmattic and RhymSter will definitely quench the hip hop thirst. And do not forget to check out their latest visual for THE JAZZ CIGARETTE which is “ICED COFFEE AND BLUNTS” featuring Mike Booth, shot, directed and edited by Hayward of Beat Box Ent.