Catch As Catch Can
For any Hip Hop fan that loves the battle scene, the annual Scribble Jam is an event not to be missed. The only artist ever to win the SJ Freestyle Competition twice, New Hampshire native Adeem, exited the rhyme-battling game in 2001. Hooking up with underground Chicago producer Maker and DJ DQ, the trio formed the group Glue. Joining the 2004 Vans Warped Tour, Glue startled and excited the indie punk crowd with their well crafted style of blending boom-bap with a hint of soul that independent music is so sorely missing. The appeal they displayed caught wind of the people at Fat Beats Records and got them signed to release their second full-length LP, Catch as Catch Can.
From the jump, the title track grabs the listener by the throat and forces them to pay attention. Maker lays down a canvas that emcee Adeem takes and runs with, while DJ DQ cuts it up and spits it out. From the introspective "Never Really Know," which finds Adeem remembering a past that no longer exists, to the self-explanatory "State of the World," the trio has a natural chemistry that is evident throughout the entire album.
Giving Adeem a chance to breathe, Maker takes the solo route on the noisy "Pan Stomp" and sample heavy "In Between Her." As dope as these are, with tracks like the highly amusing "A Flay Can't Bird" and the oddly touching "Vessel," it's hard not to want more Adeem. The highlight of Catch As Catch Can has to be the jazz-sampled "Stride," a track devoted to defeating anxiety and stress. Check the chorus, "I'm trying to get some motivation/ So if you see me broken down and I've lost my stride, tell me everything will be alright." Having little experience of the thug life, when Adeem states the line "Crush, Kill, Destroy," you can rest assured the man is speaking about old B-movies rather than what he's going to do to his enemies.
Through the numerous listens I've given this album, I must say the only downfall is what I praised earlier. The fact that the three are so "glued" together composes a problem. It's one thing to create an album that is fitting and connects so well, it's another to be so enticed to one sound that each song begins to sound like the last. I can't find myself putting Glue down, as in reality each track on its own is beyond dope. It's just taking the whole thing at once is ... eh.
Having been a fan of Adeem's since his early appearance at Scribble Jam, I've always looked forward to his albums, amongst his group efforts. And I have always found myself nodding my head to any Maker production that passes by me. The case remains with Catch As Catch Can. Real Hip Hop is needed desperately and this group is among the few that can bring it to the ears of fans worldwide. Glue is running, try and catch up ... if you can.