Best Rap Release in the Past Twelve Months - 2006
Rewind: Bringing Back the Future by SoulWhat?
Three young MCs -- Afterlogic, Newsense, and Parable -- all Miami natives, form the hip-hop trio SoulWhat?, which can be seen making the rounds at live music venues including I/O and Metropolis. But it is from the giant, borderless trunk called the Internet -- using a simple Website and a PayPal account -- that they deliver their fun, smart hip-hop full-length Rewind: Bringing Back the Future, released in 2005. Rewind may be one of the most important albums to come out of Miami in a long time. It's one of the very few to deliver the creative, thoughtful lyricism that has been almost nonexistant in the local music scene. Like all great hip-hop music, Rewind reaches listeners because the performers, with no pressure from a record label, use the album as a medium to actually say what they feel, and can get creative with sound. One of the tracks, "SoulWhat? vs. Beck," samples Beck's mid-Nineties hit "Loser," which along with the trio's brilliant flow makes for an interesting and wonderful mashup. "Gift of Gab" is laid-back and smooth, like Common's earlier work, with a perfect, mellow electric jazz guitar loop. But there's really no need for a review when you can buy the album for only $2 at www.soulwhat.net.