I was invited to attend a listening party for H.I.S.D. (Hueston independent Spit District) at the picturesque ALOFT Hotel in Houston’s Galleria area. I jumped on the chance because I had just recently heard some tracks on youtube that a friend sent me just weeks before, and I was impressed with the lyricism. Flowing from one member to another, I was impressed by the collective, comprised of Savvi, Scottie Spitten, EQuality, and LdaVoice. This group is more The Foreign Exchange, and nothing like the “screwed and chopped” cluster that is widely known when people think of Houston music, and that is a good thing.
After the great event hosted by DJ Cruize Control and H.I.S.D., I anxiously got into my hot 2007 Corolla and popped The Weakend, the group’s sophomore album, into my CD player. For the next few days, I was transported into an odyssey of jazz, funk, hip-hop, and intergalactic groove, all while fighting the horrible Houston traffic.
The first track, “Come Out and Play,” is an opening volley. I have taken it to mean that H.I.S.D. is here to save the Houston hip-hop scene, although someone else told me that it was more just introducing those to the newly converted fan. Either way, a tone is set early.
You can tell the group’s influences throughout, but yet they seem to make their own mark. For example, on “Autobahn,” Ldavoice says, “We bring out the brooms/sweep up the tunes/career burying,” conjuring up something that could have been on a Gangstarr EP.
My personal favorite is “Lando,” which has that space age vibe, with an imaginative track as the background, a catchy hook (“Fresh out the box it’s so cold/Get your space up ‘cause swag is so old/Stepped outside the house, oh no/Went back in I forgot my Lando”), and enough Lando Calrissian references that would make Billy Dee Williams grin like he was still doing Colt 45 commercials.
The stars of the album are the members themselves, with the tracks laced with jazz and electronica influences. The production was done by King Midas and E-Classic., and the genius of “Space City Express” reveals, if you didn’t know before, how talented this duo is at production.
Where the album I thought fell short was in the overall image. The outer space vibe could have been exploited more I think. Although space and Hip-Hop has been done before, Outkast’s “ATLiens” immediately comes to mind, I wish they would have ran with that theme just a little more. This album has been labeled as a concept album, so I thought the boat was missed by not pushing the “beam me up Scottie” theme even more. I really hate to criticize because I really enjoy it.
At the end of the day, H.I.S.D. has made a new fan of me. They are a breath of fresh air and I think they are on track for future success.
The Weakend receives a PAR
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