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Qwazaar & Batsauce follow up their masterful Style Be The
King EP (2011, Fifth Element/Galapagos4) with a 14-track
juggernaut entitled Bat Meets Blaine. The record is an
absolute rarity, a series of inspired sessions from a
world-class MC & producer team at the height of their
respective powers. Batsauce provides ambidextrous
backdrops that are as multilayered as they are strident,
while Qwazaar simply astonishes, baring his soul while
performing near-impossible lyrical feats. It's a record all
true heads should cop and that all lab scientists can envy.

At this point in his career, Qwa's pedigree is
unquestionable. South Side representative extraordinaire
Low End theorist endlessly
inventive with flows and increasingly daring in subject and
range. Long hailed for his vocal ability, the decades have
seen Qwa transform into the rare artist whose symphonic flow
is effortlessly matched to pitch-perfect confessional
content. The moments that meld both into a unique
storytelling voice are rare—Rakim's "The
Ghetto" comes to mind, as do Black Thought's post-bop
excursions. Qwa's true corollary, however, aren't his fellow
MCs—it's Charlie Parker, whose wrenching solos feature a
technical genius that are only matched by their sorrow—the
sound of Icarus' wings melting. He's found his proper spar
this go-round—Batsauce is a Berlin-based turntable
Gillespie (URB recently dubbed him "the next 'it'
thing in…underground hip hop"), and their first full-
length is a true titanic, trans-Atlantic meeting of the
minds. Tasteful guest shots only augment the chemistry:
Denizen Kane, Onry Ozzborn, Offwhyte, KP the Ilustrado of
The Pacifics, Lady Daisey, and DJ Bizkid round out a stellar
supporting cast.

Bird once famously said, "If you don't live it, it won't
come out your horn." Bat Meets Blaine is a record of
tremendous vitality and reach—Chicago, LA, Jacksonville,
and Berlin are a part of its geographic DNA. It numbers
several underground classics (Typical
Cats, Walk Through Walls, Suicide Prevention, etc.) as its
bona-fide predecessors. Its progenitors have earned
accolades and stripes and props in print and in person. But
most importantly, it has been soaked in rum and in the
river, and it has emerged as a testament to pain and power,
and it plays beautifully. Bird and Diz, meet Bat and
Blaine.1

1For cats who don't know nothing about nothing, peep Bird
and Diz (Clef, 1952). Get your weight up

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