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Traveling Circus

RedCloud

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Album Review

After his deliriously diverse debut, Is This Thing On?, RedCloud retrenches for his follow-up Traveling Circus. The title is a reflection of the many guest artists, including Braille, Man of War and MaxOne, singers Kaitlyn Cassels, Sherwin Gardner, Sam Hart and Ulali, multi-instrumentalist Brandon Musser, and of course sirRok, with labelmates Sackcloth Fashion taking the executive production credit. With so much talent at his side, it's no wonder RedCloud sounds so pumped...and boastful. A surprising number of his raps are given over to freestyle flights of verbiage which, stripped of their tongue-tying acrobatics, boil down to "I'm/We're the best." It's expected on the title track which introduces the cast, but also infests the threatening "The Coming," the Western flavored "8000 RPM's," the guitar driven "Bonifide Xtreme," and the moody "Chit Chat." Even so, God still gets His due, notably on the Latin tinged, pop combo "Never Let You Go" and the heartfelt "My Way." The adamant rap of "Don't Wear It Out" has a religious sheen, one of a number of songs with a Christian edge. Jesus may save, but hip-hop too has offered salvation for many lost on the world's meanest streets, and "Broken Jaw" reflects both the genre's power and pull. Although Native American chants and rhythms underlay a number of the tracks here, only the haunting "Indigenous Angel" is themed around the experience. In contrast, "Battle Star Galactic" is out of this world; RedCloud is at his most inspired, although his theme is hard to decipher, beyond the braggadocio and nod to his west coast home. Although less musically adventurous than the last set, the beats and hooks here are strong, and there's excellent use of live guitar, bass, and piano. The minuet-esque "My Way" takes inspiration from "Love Is Blue"; "The Coming" combines Native American and African beats to great effect; gloomy post-punk and fiery rock guitar drive "Bonafide"; Sam Hart's backing vocal conjures up a haunting atmosphere on "Chit Chat," and the incredibly catchy "Put It On" defies easy categorization. Incidentally, that number is the only one to edge into larger cultural issues, with the rapper adamantly non-committal. Some fans may be initially disappointed by the dearth of thrills and fun that featured so prominently on Is This Thing On?. But by stripping back to hip-hop basics, RedCloud's awesome raps now come to the fore, and that's entertainment enough.

Customer Reviews

THE BEST!!!

Redcloud is by far one of the best emcees I have ever heard. MY WAY and CHIT CHAT have that emotionally story telling feel that sounds much like Eminem. You can't help but dance to the beats and rythms of DON'T WEAR IT OUT and INDIGENOUS ANGEL. NEVER LET YOU GO is beautifully written and makes you want to sing. THE COMING, BONIFIDE XTREME, and NIGHT OWLS are very similar to ICP. Then you jus gotta love the underground feel of WAR PARTY, PUT IT ON, BROKEN JAW, and TRAVELING CIRCUS. But my favorite, by far, is BATTLE STAR GALACTIC, which has the sickest flows you'll ever hear.

Solid Hip Hop

Amid a boatload of generic mainstream artists and a sea of fans who keep them afloat, RedCloud represents what’s good about not only Native hip-hop, but hip-hop in general.

Freaking incredible stuff here man.

Got to see him live in Manteca, CA a few years back and he didn't disappoint. Always liked his style. Miss him.

Biography

Born: California

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '00s

A West Coast rapper with Mexican and Native American heritage, the poignant RedCloud had already been in and out of violent gang life by the time he was in the ninth grade. Getting out wasn't easy, but once out he changed his life and began studying the Bible along with hip-hop. Combining the two, he started rapping his positive and hopeful message to the Los Angeles hip-hop underground. His 2001 debut, Is This Thing On?, was followed by a six-week run as champion of Los Angeles radio station Power...
Full Bio
Traveling Circus, RedCloud
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Customer Ratings

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