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Loss 4 Wordz

Scratch

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Album Review

Loss 4 Wordz follows The Embodiment of Instrumentation, Scratch's solo debut, by seven years. The intro excepted, each one of the tracks features a collaborator or two, and the album reaches way beyond the extended Roots/Okayplayers family showcased on Embodiment by calling upon several unexpected MCs and vocalists — not so unexpected, perhaps, if you had been keeping up with Scratch's own featured appearances; many of the guests here are returning a favor. This being an album from a beatboxer, the MCs and vocalists are bound to play a more central role. As impressive and entertaining as it is to hear Scratch flex his versatile skills on such a stylistically scattered array of material — including not just multiple flavors of rap and R&B but reggae, folk-soul, neo-Basement Jaxx dance-pop, an inspirational anthem led by Hillsong's Jonas Myrin, and a kind of torch song featuring Damon Albarn and Talib Kweli — it's easy to forget whose album this is, and only a handful of the songs leave a lasting impression.

Biography

Born: Camden, NJ

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s

When the human beatbox first caught the public eye in the early '80s, it was treated (as with rap in toto) like a fad — ephemeral, ready to disappear with the next strong breeze (or another "fad"). However, it survived, and Philly's Scratch (born Kyle Jones) emerged as one of its masters. A no-frills percussion machine born to replicate the backbeat sound, he helped to keep the art form alive into its third decade. Born in Camden, NJ, one of the United States' most violent cities of the late...
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Loss 4 Wordz, Scratch
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