Thursday, August 21, 2008

Next Big Thing Alert! Hum.V

Representing the Middle by way of Indianapolis (aka, Naptown) is Next Big Thing, Hum.V. Dropping his sophomore album One Verse @ A Time this week on iTunes, Hum.V (né, Greg Humrichouser) proves himself to be one of the great unsigned artists in the business. Getting his start some years back as the anchor to party hip-hoppers, the Cleptoz, Hum.V released his solo debut, Simple Man, last year to much acclaim (enough, in fact, that it remains a mystery why he remains unsigned), and even got some help from Chicago's own Rhymefest on "If I Had a Dollar". That album established him in the Indy music scene with his share of local radio play and high-energy live shows. Now Hum.V is poised to spread his word elsewhere, and One Verse should be the album allowing him to do so.

Today's hip-hop scene is in disarray, to say the least. With the industry transforming so rapidly, record labels seem to be utterly clueless as to what to promote unless Lil Wayne is involved. What's most unfortunate about this is that good quality hip-hop artists stay marginalized as underground. In Seattle, for example, acts like The Saturday Knights, Blue Scholars, and Common Market are kings of that underground. But without some help from the majors they'll be unlikely to break into the mainstream and subsequent millions. Despite the 2,200 miles separating the two, Hum.V would fit nicely into the Seattle scene. Both share an organic sound most easily labeled as 'Old School' and lyrics that possess a complexity and significance beyond money, hoes and rims again.

At essence, though, One Verse is a pop album, and Hum.V is (or should be) a pop star. A majority of the tracks feature the talents of friends, and the vocals from both Lynda Sayyah and Stacia Demos shine brightly. The impossibly catchy hooks of "Look In Your Eyes" and "Choices (In My Head)" both highlight their abilities. But Hum.V is the star most on display here. There is an intimacy to the lyrics that is extremely rare in hip-hop, as Hum.V opens the window into Greg Humrichouser frequently. "Little Things" and "Take Ya Back" are practically journal entries, but they work
specifically because of how personal they are.

Don't get the wrong impression, though: Hum.V is no shoe-gazer. The rap star swagger never dissipates, and with the same ease that he rhymes his way through the slower jams he spits fire over the heavy beats. "U Can't See Me", "Get Back", and "Droppin' Knowledge" (featuring Sweet Eggz) are all filthy beats where Hum.V accelerates the lyrical content. On "Droppin' Knowledge":
I'm droppin' knowledge like a skydivin' Socrates
Take a listen get inside my philosophies
I'm not lucky so why try the lottery
Still this feelin' it's my time - it's gotta be
Check out a couple of tracks here, and go buy the album so this dude will get signed already.

"U Can't See Me" (feat. S.O.N.-One & Rusty)

"Droppin' Knowledge" (feat. Sweet Eggz)

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