featured REVIEW


Mathematik No Division Urbnet • 2005

2001 marked the release of Superrappin vol 1, a collection of the underground's next generation of talented artists. Among them a handful of Canada's finest such as Frankenstein, Choclair, Da Grassroots ànd Mathematik, who shone and glistened with the excellent 'Following Goals' (feat Bahamadia), taken of his 1999 debut full length 'Ecology'.

Except for that moment of modest glory, this Toronto-based MC/producer failed to jump on the train of recognition. 'Ecology' is great but remained an obscure, rapidly forgotten effort and the label behind it soon went out of business. This time around, 'No Division' has everything to appeal the masses. It's released on Canada's dynamic Urbnet label, Mathematik's style has matured and top-notch Canadian producers such as Saukrates, DJ Serious, Mr Attic of the Grassroots are contributing beats alongside Mathematik himself and his long-time crew Down To Erf, which makes 'No Division' a solid yet versatile piece of b-boy music. The album cover shows us Mathematik's record collection and –as any devoted vinyl addict- you see he's cherishing his stacks of vinyl. That particular attitude is translated to his music, as he throws in illustrious breaks before every song (a Sun Ra break eg.), choppin up Curtis Mayfield's 'The Makings Of You' in 'The Righteous' and doin an interpretation of New Edition's 'If It Isn't Love' in the opening track 'If It Isn't', Mathematik's dedication to the culture as he talks about his love for rappin over some crispy drums and a smooth bass line. 'Dilligence' is another rap dedication and claims respect for the culture's ancestors, while Mathematik proves to be a long-time fan; 'Since the times of Treacherous Three, Cold Crush, Busy Bee, I was born in this culture', even shouting out Maestro (Fresh Wes), the godfather of the Canadian rap scene. Furthermore the album is characterized by soulful production; 'Situation' with the chipmunk sample, the mesmerizing eulogy 'Letter To John', and jazziness; the hypnotic violin-driven 'Was Is Will'. Other than that, the electronic pieces of 'Play 2 Win', the small guitar break in 'Attack' and the moody, broken jazz of 'Still The Same' add a mellow vibe just like the heroic, majestic beat of 'Who’s Wit Me'.

Not many of the Canadian artists who appeared on the first Superrappin album really broke through, except for Choclair on a local level, but an effort like this is definitely a step forward in Mathematik's career. It's not a master piece because there's more potential from where it came from, and Mathematik's emcee skills are not that convincing, soundin more like a producer on the mic, but hey, who was asking for a classic album anyway? The man simply does what he likes and raps consciously about whatever he wants; life, love and culture. Add with that, the solid production and the multiple eye winks to the old school and the whole crate digging culture and you have an album that we can recommend to anyone that has rap runnin through his blood and bears a few words of enlightenment plus a dose of positivism.

POSTED ON 11|09|2005 by cpf

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