Livin' in the Scope


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Livin' in the Scope Review

by Jason Birchmeier

Given Chicago's Midwestern locale somewhere between the West, the South, and the East, it's perhaps no surprise that Snypaz draws inspiration from all three coasts' rap scenes. The first characteristic that stands out about the Windy City-based group is its hardcore attitude, an approach that is just as much indebted to the Geto Boys' legacy as N.W.A.'s and Mobb Deep's. In fact, the group's name itself is a representative indication of how these four guys look at the world -- this isn't carefree, feel-good music by any means. Secondly, their hard beats also hark back to the early-'90s work by the first two aforementioned gangsta rap pioneers, the sort of clenched-fist beats that go well with angst-ridden lyrics. In the end, you're left wondering if these guys are merely paying homage to their disparate influences, which can be traced just as easily to the South as to the West, or if they're actually synthesizing these influences into a commendable new sound. Judging by this album, the former approach is probably the more accurate viewpoint, though there's enough promise on this album to suggest that their follow-up may warrant the latter viewpoint.

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