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A Fist In The Thought

Snowgoons

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Album Review

Since arriving in the stateside underground rap scene in the mid-2000s, the German production team known as Snowgoons have made a lot of noise. Garnering critical and popular acclaim for their murky, decidedly sinister beatwork, the three-man crew (made up of Det, Illegal, and DJ Waxwork) has collaborated with a variety of hardcore lyricists on two extraordinary full-length LPs on Babygrande Records. Both German Lugers (2007) and Black Snow (2008) had lengthy lists of guest vocalists (everyone from Smif-N-Wessun and Killah Priest to El Da Sensei and Wise Intelligent), most of whom were on hand for just one track apiece. On their third LP, A Fist in the Thought, the Snowgoons rely largely on three up-and-coming MCs from South Carolina, the Savage Brothers (Qualm and Knowledge) and Lord Lhus, making for an unlikely regional collaboration. This decision in itself can be taken as both a strength and a weakness. On the one hand, it makes A Fist in the Thought a more cohesive work than the Snowgoons' two previous LPs, which can come off a bit compilation-ish, but on the other hand, it makes for less lyrical diversity. Many of the spine-tingling beatscapes, often built on classical piano lines, choir samples, and dramatic orchestral string arrangements feel like the stuff of an apocalyptic horror movie soundtrack. And the raspy-voiced vocalists fit right in for the most part with uncompromisingly violent lyricism that moves between Southern gothic gangsterism and disturbing sci-fi-obsessed imagery. The Snowgoons' craftsmanship behind the boards is consistent on each of the record's 17 tracks, but the lyrics often fail to impress. The rhyme styles and vocal tones displayed here are undeniably reminiscent of Violent by Design-era Jedi Mind Tricks and Lord Lhus could easily be mistaken for Vinnie Paz on any number of tracks. The SC rappers' best moments come when they spin hard-edged vignettes of their home state's dark side on tracks like "South Carolina Struggle," "Michael Nobody aka Poetic Death," and "Capital City Streetz," while A Fist in the Thought's best moments come when the mike gets passed to more capable rhyme-spitters like Sean Price, Reef the Lost Cauze, and Viro the Virus.

Biography

Formed: 1999 in Karlsruhe, Germany

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '00s, '10s

German production team Snowgoons started in 1999, when longtime hip-hop fans Det and DJ Illegal teamed up in order to make beats together. In 2006, the duo, whose sound is often compared to the Wu-Tang Clan, added Torben and DJ Waxwork to their lineup, and after being signed to New York-based Babygrande Records, the Snowgoons debut album, German Lager, which featured rhymes from MCs like Celph...
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A Fist In The Thought, Snowgoons
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