Written By: Brandon Basile
When you turn on the radio nowadays you will likely hear a lot of simple songs that can be easily digested within the 3-5 minute average time length. Most modern artists wouldn’t be challenged to engage with deep lyrical concepts in their raps. “It’s just not marketable”, record execs would say. So when an artist makes a conscious decision to make a project focusing on the classic boom bap sound and aesthetics of rap they have the chance to breathe life into the game and give us more of what we’ve been missing. Goldsboro, North Carolina artist Deliverance is this type of artist. Artist and CEO of Vicious Tunes Music Group, his latest album Hip Hop’s Renaissance is a journey into his mind as he gives lyrical commentary on life over soulful jazzy hip-hop vibes and instrumental breaks. Gritty conscious rap with a taste of slab music Deliverance is taking us back to bring us forward and we are definitely here for it.
The album opens with a jazzy instrumental track “Everything is Musical” which sets the stage for the musicality of lyrics. There is music in the delivery of the raps but just as well in the depiction of the scenes that Deliverance illustrates. The title cut “Hip Hop’s Renaissance” gives us a heavy dose for our boombap addiction as Deliverance raps a steady chorus while chanting “Remember!!” to pull people back to the golden days of lyricism. He speaks on how people have often told him to change his raps, similar to Lupe Fiasco’s classic “Dumb It Down”, over a heated kick and snare drum cadence with the song “These Changes” as the sample questions “Why should I go through these changes?”. The forceful boombap nature of “These Changes” is given time to marinate by being followed by “Hit Me” a short instrumental break over jazz piano keys and horns.
“Gassed Up” is high energy hip-hop party cut that has been a crowd favorite in the hip-hop clubs for its high energy “Gaaaaaaaassed up!” chorus line as Deliverance chants on how ready he is to pick apart any and all rappers bringing the hatred his way. Hip Hop’s Renaissance brings the upbeat bravado but Deliverance also poignantly discusses conscious topics of American and World issues on “Wonderful Lives”, and “Villains” as he raps on “Villains”’ chorus “Villains in black and blue/ Be watching for red and blues / Villains of black and blue/ Be careful they’ll murder you.” “Lucid Dreams” is a trippy experience into imagination over smooth strings as Deliverance envisions everything from titanium unicorns, Egypt, muskets, and gold clouds and then lets the tension breathe with more soulful jazz before diving deep into equally complex harmony and lyricism with “Piece of Heaven”.
Deliverance is bringing a unique flavor to the modern Hip-Hop game with his aggressive rhymes over chill boom bap beats. Hip Hop’s Renaissance looks back to rap’s classic past to bring the depth that most of modern rap have been missing. The work at times feels raw in how it chooses to not use many vocal effects like new school rappers, but Deliverance still ushers in an enlivened experience with just raps, bars, and metaphors. With Deliverance’s high energy and very obvious love for rap and hip-hop he will be around in this game for many years and decades to come. “Living is schizophrenic” as he states on “Deep in the Rap Game” and we will definitely be seeing him on this side and the other.