Custom Made – The Blackboard Jungle: Street Cinema Vol. 3

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All the way from California enter Custom Made. I say enter because they remind me of a modern day Wu Tang on the left coast. I don’t like to compare one group of MCs to another but it’s a good way to get a point across and give people something to picture and hear in their mind or you could just peep www.myspace.com/custommadehiphop

Some of the key players and overall stand out MCs are Scoobs, Element, Bluff and Paradox. “Lost In the Yard” sets the tone. The backdrop has an eerie violin that comes off like a western flick when you know the shits about to go down. Bluff rides this beat with little effort, like he telling a story and just happen to rhyme at the same time. I like the concept of “Consignment” but that beat wasn’t moving me; mad energy on this joint though. Beat wise “Go Away” was the wheel and Paradox laces shit lovely. “06 Vine” is that mixtape joint I was looking for, Scoobs address fake thug rappers who rarely touch the block. “End Of An Era” rounds out the joints that really held my ear. Lyric wise Custom Made is dropping science on a range of topics from government, education, the block, and just real life situations.

I used the Wu Tang analogy because collectively Custom Made is strong as group where as I don’t think individually there music would be as commanding. These cats can rhyme though, some still chasing the beat, some still too amped up for their own good. You gotta slow it down sometimes, find the niche in the beat and play with the flow like Six does on “Go Away”. The hooks could use some work. I always like to hear a cut up hook or even a hot verse chopped up would work and off set the strong lyrical content. DJs also check for them at www.custommadehiphop.com , shit may not be classic but it’s certainly bangin’.