Esso/Sicamore/Cyhpa Sounds – Essobama

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Mixtapes are fucked up right now. Everyone is pointing to the DJ Drama situation and that is a flash point, but I think the bigger picture is the lack of sales for Hip Hop artists. For some reason, they aren’t able to communicate with their fans. The message isn’t getting across. In other words, they’re selling, but we ain’t buying! Every critic has an idea or a theory on why, but that hasn’t translated into success. MIMS’, “This Is Why I’m Hot” is killing radio all over the country with it’s cross over tactics, but whether that translates into actual sales of his album, remains to be seen. Not to mention he also had one of the highest selling ring tones this year.

I’ve read tons of blogs that cater to up and coming garage bands and their public provides some of the best feedback, but it starts with the will to listen. I’m guilty of turning a deaf ear to unsigned talent and I honestly hate to do artist reviews. I love Hip Hop, but most emcees are carbon copies of urban radio and that’s not appealing to me. I was excited to get the “ESSOBAMA”, because “ESSOCENTRIC” was so well put together. SICKAMORE can be a little long in the tooth and a bit excessive, but overall, he doesn’t take away from the continuity of the project.

It may be unorthodox, but I listened to “ESSOBAMA” in pieces, then I listened to the entire project as a whole. It was one of the most difficult reviews for me, because my expectations were so high. “Beautiful Hustler” is a text in music. Artist don’t create songs with a concept or message anymore, but this track carried an endearing message and it’s concept is one that may not make it a single, but it definitely isn’t album filler. That’s what’s missing from current cd’s. They forgo solid tracks and focus on creating a single. Once they have that, they provide you with very little to sustain your attention. “ESSOBAMA” doesn’t have that problem.

“Million Bucks” is what the boy is after and he was sure to boast about his appearances in XXL, The Source, MTV and Rapmullet (he should have mentioned us, but maybe next time…lol). “A couple friends probably hate me/but they proud of me though”, is an excellent description of what occurs when you leave the bullshit behind and focus on a positive goal. “The New Government” features Nina B. and Remo. They are amongst the same ilk and are quickly changing the perception of a NY artist. “Resurrection 07” is a top down, third lane, track to coast to. This cd has everything. It’s the closest I’ve ever come to giving an artist mixtape a classic.

ESSO is a complete emcee (and I mean that in the old school sense of the word). He creates an excellent story, boasts without speaking of gunplay and coke pushing, and networks like a muthafucka. Aside from that, with all of his street level success, he continues to be approachable. If he gets that “Million Bucks”, I hope he stays that way. If you’d like to listen for yourself, please shoot over to or where the mixtape is for sale.