Azarias, Nabuddah and Sudo Black Collaborate on the Striving and Aspirational Zen of Avant Polyrhythmic Hip-Hop Track “Cross Continental”

Azarias, photo courtesy the artist

The striving bravado of the lyrics of “Cross Continental” flows with confidence and profane creativity while delivering a Zen-like mantra about aspirations and the folly of attaching too much value to the financial currency of society. These are the kinds of lyrics one hears in plenty of hip-hop tracks but not often enough with the incredible musical backdrop on this track. Azarias, Nabuddah and Sudo Black worked together to have a song that utilized a palette of tropical sounding percussion on top of a more industrial aesthetic which of course in the early 80s was directly influenced by hip-hop production. The call-and-response vocal aspect syncs perfectly with the truly unconventional polyrhythms as the main vocal lines gives a focus and solidity to at beat that on its own is imaginative but together there is a dynamic that completely sets this song apart from a lot of hip-hop you run across day to day. Using more robust percussive sounds in the beat and not the predictable trap sounds immediately brings a vital quality worthy of the commanding and deft rap performance. Fans of turn of the century alternative hip-hop will appreciate how the song incorporates earthy subject matter with avant-garde arrangements in an incredibly accessible fashion. Listen to “Cross Continental” on Spotify.


Author: simianthinker

Editor, primary content provider for this blog. Former contributor to Westword and The Onion.

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