A film about Northwest hip-hop from 2020
The cover of Homebass features an in-motion collage of trees and records evoking the chaotic fury of our times. Do yourself a favor and slide on this six-song, 21-minute project the way you might a pair of immaculately tailored pajamas. Get comfortable and settle in.
Opening cut “OMG!!!!!!!” questions how one reconciles their dreams with reality while nodding to those small pleasures that make the struggle worth it. On a day like today, when the world recoils from George Floyd’s murder, Cypher asks “Do you play it safe?”
Many songs question our individual actions against the status quo while providing an invitation to get to know Greg Scott Cypher better. “They don’t understand me,” he says on “WOO WOO.” As a rhymer, Cypher is a fast-moving dribbler. Before you know it, he’s dunked another lyrical basket.
The album’s centerpiece is “Mi Casa” where, against a whirlwind of background voices and clamor, Greg speaks directly to you with an arresting intimacy in the age of social distancing. Producer Def Dee grounds every track with a deep sense of place using sublime studio skills. You’re there. In the room. As a loping Rube Goldberg beat unfolds on “Mi Casa,” as the wavering rumble of piano interrupts “NuthinToSay” (featuring KFG compadre Mr. Hentvii), and in the yard, banging beats on boards with the gang on “DAY UNO’s.” This cut pulls the slick Rik Rude outta retirement for a feature that Cypher says is an album highlight. It is.
Auto-tuned Greg on “Space” is at first unexpectedly jarring but proves to be yet another of this album’s many delights. Homebass is a solo debut, a clear statement in response to our uncertain times, a chance to hear a familiar voice anew, and a clear contender for album of the year 2020.