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The Healing (Bonus Track Version)

Strange Fruit Project

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Album Review

Relatively unknown before their collaboration with Ghostface Killah on the song "Milk 'Em" in 2005, Strange Fruit Project, the group of three MCs (S1 doubles as a producer, though much of that responsibility is taken over by guests on The Healing) also found a fan in the Roots' ?uestlove (which proved useful for Okay Player advertisements, of which they received a fair amount) and were able to distribute their music to a larger audience with the release of 2006's The Healing. Mr. Thompson had valid reasons for being so complimentary about them, and the impressive assortment of featured artists on The Healing (Erykah Badu, Jake One, and both Little Brother and 9th Wonder) also attests to the group's talent, and SFP are certainly deserving of this recognition. Instead of expanding the boundaries of hip-hop (either lyrically or musically), Strange Fruit Project look to bring the Native Tongues style back, which means that there are lots of nice, jazzy beats with socially conscious lyrics. S1, who also plays many of the instruments on the album, grew up playing piano in church, and that kind of gospel-inspired key work is found throughout the entire album (not to mention the many references, often in the form of brief, soliloquy-like skits about looking for God), but there are also the requisite synths and drum machines needed to make a nice clean beat. While the production is not particularly experimental, it's always good, and it swerves away from predictable on tracks like "Pinball," with its video-game beat and lyrics, "Get Live" (possibly because of Badu's contributions), and the eerie bonus track, "After the Healing...." The rhymes are the general mix of gentle boasting about skills, problems in life, and perseverance found on so many albums of this sort, but all three SFP MCs (besides S1 there's also Myth and Myone, who has a delivery that is sometimes similar to Dré from OutKast) do a good job of not repeating the same tired verses. They're thoughtful, introspective, and intelligent, which then makes the one party track on the record, "Cali Cruisin," seem a little out of place. The Healing is an album of solidly good hip-hop, nothing that really will blow any underground fans away, but absolutely enough to keep them listening.

Biography

Formed: 2000 in Waco, TX

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '00s

When MC and producer S1 (Symbolyc One), who grew up playing piano and drums in his church in Waco, TX, wanted to start a band, it made sense for him to look no further than fellow MC and cousin Myth (Mythological). Though not much ever came from their group, Symbolic Elementz, in 1998 S1 met Myone through work, and when the cousins decided to go to the studio, Myone tagged along. When he joined in on one song, the trio soon realized how well they worked together. They chose the name Strange Fruit...
Full bio
The Healing (Bonus Track Version), Strange Fruit Project
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