MUSIC: SEAANBROOKS x THROWAWAYS
Local music is as impressive as it has ever been right now. There are great artists and instead of getting a little love from the press and repping Seattle like they've spent time in the streets there or participated in the adolescent life they are proud to wear Tacoma. Sky Movement may be the most well known musical venture in Tacoma with exception of Y-Lyfe who has been at it the longest and most consistent. Members of the Sky Movement, Clemm Rishad and Will Jordan have been nominated for a Grammy for writing for Nicki Minaj's album, been on TV because of their success and Clemm has even put out a tape with the infamous DJ SKEE. The accolades are there although they don't have the unanimous support of Tacomans.
SeaanBrooks, from what we can tell, is the youthful edge in the Sky Movement camp. He seems to have an understanding of the current sound and how the people in his age group think. I commend him on being able to do so - there are far too many out of touch rappers nowadays. 1800, a tape Brook's dropped earlier into 2014 caught a bit of a wave with a Summer Jam performance, solid feature work and his ability to keep his social media presence interesting. It had the best response we've seen from his releases. But after the drop we didn't get a music video or any in town performances or even see Sky Movement rallying behind his campaign. From a personal place I didn't love 1800 - but I felt the potential in every song and Brook's screeching delivery. He's for sure on his Waka it feels like from time to time. But it's that energy that makes THROWAWAYS so good. The first time I played it fully through in the shop my comments were, "He's found his voice" and "Solid A&R effort on his behalf finding those beats". Songs like 'Sell' show there is real artistry behind what he's doing, with such a complex sound he was able to be a storyteller, maintain cadence and construct a catchy hook - clear markings of putting in overtime effort to make sure things sound the way he wants. Following 'Sell' is 'Add it Up' which is what I consider to be the lead off the project because of it's completeness. Verses are there, voice works on the beat, beat slaps and concept song is simple - all the elements of a solid single if you ask me. Other highlights on the project are the youthful angst filled Dick Suck (I play it full blast in the car - it's great for driving fast), 'Word' is a West coast banger that deserve the car cruise treatment too - again a solid hook. The second half of the tape mellows out - 'Type I Like' is the one that standouts amongst tracks 8-13, but Sobriety is a close second. His delivery is maybe at an all time high and there are some deep issues he touches on like depression and anger.
For me this is certainly Brook's solidest full length effort. I enjoy the cover, I was impressed with his beat selection and more importantly the beats fit his unique voice. Throwaways has in-the-shop and in-the-car playback value and for eTc that's what is important. The issue with the tape is the title. 'Throwaways' implies the idea of songs that are the artist favorites but don't make the cut on official projects because of sound, content, mixing or all of the above. For Brook's that might not have been the best way to market his sound. People don't seem to believe in his sound yet enough to think his 'Throwaways' are worthy of a spin. I was intrigued by the name but as I was raving to everyone about how good the tape is I was met with puzzled facial expressions and often met with the response "I didn't play it because it's his throwaways" at first I was baffled by the thought of anyone missing the point of Brook's witty title. But after my fourth or fifth conversation it became clear his sound was not previously trusted enough to attract new ears to his experimental work or works in progress. That left me in dizzy spell. No matter what eTc's tunnel vision is to support progression in Tacoma and the PNW. And though we still don't have a visual and no shows yet, although there is one on the horizon, 'Throwaways' is a solid effort from Tacoma, Sky Movement and SeaanBrooks. I strongly suggest playing it for yourself and drawing your own conclusions.