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Album Review

A creeper that takes way too long to sort itself, rapper/singer Lateef’s solo debut is as cluttered, diverse, and insider as the man’s résumé, which includes Latyrx (with Lyrics Born), the Maroons or Lateef & the Chief (with Chief Xcel), and the Solesides collective, which evolved into Quannum Projects. Folks who could have rattled that off themselves will find the twists (“Firewire Interlude” is a loopy bit of glitch-hop) and turns (“Oakland” is a rap-rock cruncher with Living Colour urgency) less unexpected and even welcoming, which could be Firewire’s biggest issue if you're looking for a showcase debut. As the album coolly rolls through the land of throwback funk and over the hills of electroclash synths and even indie rock (play “Sara” for a Phoenix fan and just watch him or her ask for a copy), Lateef remains the obscured man on the album's cover, hidden by brilliant flashes of light and tasteful design. If it’s by choice, fans won’t mind, as they can’t pick out the sly rhymes and simmering commentary underneath as patented Lateef, while everyone else can rely on names like Shadow, Dan the Automator, and Del on the track list and trust that Lateef is worthy of their company, even if it isn't obvious on first listen.

Customer Reviews

Fans from the Bay.

Been waiting a looong time for this. The Z-Trip album, and Fatboy Slim collaborations are awesome. My Crew and I have been waiting for one of the best M.C.'s of the Quannum Movement to do his own thing, and the time has come. Thanks for making this album. It's nothing short of amazing. Keep it Real! PS: Perfect timing too, now we got something to bob our heads to while we play MW3!

Amazing.

Amazing album by one of the world's most talented and most overlooked MC's. Socially conscious, spiritually aware, and soulfully intelligent--yet another gem in the nearly flawless Quannum catalog.

Lateef is turning the page with FireWire. 10/10

Had no idea Lateef had so many weapons in his arsenal. This is a great album, Lateef's mum and dad were revolutionaries and the spirit carries through in this mix of west coast ideas and sounds; this music is distinctly Oakland but every genre of Oakland music and blended in a way that is entirely new while also featuring beats and pieces of yore. For those looking for the cutting edge of quality hip hop and alternative music, give this a close consideration. Great music, great lyrics.

Biography

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Oakland native Lateef the Truth Speaker first made his contribution to the West Coast hip-hop movement with "The Wreckoning"/"Latyrx" single in 1996. Thanks to the production backings of DJ Shadow, microphone contributions from Lyrics Born and financial help from SoleSides' Records, Lateef followed with the EP The...
Full Bio
FireWire, Lateef the Truthspeaker
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Customer Ratings

Contemporaries

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