Do y'all ever find yourself about to overdose on hoochie & hoes, fake studio gangsters and retread tales of easy street money? If you're like me it happens all the time. Thank God we can take solice in and turn to artists like our own I Am I See. His sophomore album is simply titled 83. Its an indication of I Am's no frills approach to Hip Hop. This brother is a culturalist in the tradition of De La Soul, Jungle Brothers, Blackalicious and Jurrasic 5. His sounds conjur up mental imagery of a comfortable cruise down East River Drive on a sunny spring Saturday afternoon.
It all jumps off the with title track 83. I Am I See quickly proves to be another emcee in a growing list of Philly area artists ignoring current trends to make music that makes them happy. His lyrics are poinant and the beats lightly bounces. This will translate to the corner boyz as "soft" but so what? Its not too much longer before what should be the effort's stand out single Crosstown Traffic. While its too cerebral for our narrow minded commercial radio outlets it is a smooth mixtape worthy cut on the strength of its jazzy loops, silky feel and strong hooks. Other highlights include the smooth "props to the roots giving" Heavenly, the harder hitting Gary Gnu produced Zero Bit and entertaining, intelligent Drugstore Cowboy. With the promotional machine of a major behind this one it could make cross regional noise. While you're at it don't sleep on the phat funk flow of Outshine or the infectious Gary Gnu head nodder Game Over.
In a previous reincarnation I envision I Am I See as a cool cat outfitted in black, blowing maddd Jazz rhythms in a smoky blue lit cavern. 83 proves to be a sixteen track celebration of Hip Hop for the sake of it. Nothing too deep. Nothing too concerned with posturing. Just something to groove to. Just good music.
Reviewed by Funk Wizard Snow
© 2002 Illadelph Entertainment Incorporated