One-half of The Dads, Shaggy Rogers, is a Philadelphia native living life in Pittsburgh. With Old School Hip Hop influencing every step of the way, Shaggy has created his own unique sound. He worked years to perfect his flow, tone, and vibe. His content comes to him over time, through real life experiences, journeys, epiphanies, and realizations. He claims to be an Emcee not a rapper, and says “yes there is a difference!”
You know what makes normally gets my blood running? When you talk about an artist who makes a groundbreaking album and the people around you tone in an arrogant way, as if to say, “If it ain’t in the charts, then it ain’t nothing”. I don’t think I’ll ever understand all this genre-limiting crap, which says that you can’t do this or you can’t do that in a hip hop record. Or maybe people who go “Hey dude, you’re white, what you doing performing or listening to hiphop music.” Music is music end of story!
It makes a difference when someone with the creativity in terms of musical rhythms, beats, lyrics and ability like Shaggy Rogers comes along and conveys his thoughts in such an unpretentious and natural way that is decidedly lacking in music, in the hiphop world.
Emcee Rogers seems to be spawned from a bloodline of a great hip-hop dynasty. He tells his tales sketching lyrics so visual, you’ll think you’re watching a rented video, not listening to a digital music album. Rogers’ punch lines are sharp, while his flow is sagacious and nimble, and his musical abilities are fine tuned.
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About Mind, Shaggy’s 2nd album, is the perfect showcase of those qualities and after listening, you quickly gather that no compromises were made here. The album has great continuity, as one song seems to flow into the other without seeming monotonous. Most importantly, he has the rare ability to spit knowledge without sounding corny or have the need to be in your face.
The highlights for me are when Rogers dips into “Intent (prod. By Bradata)” or the string-driven “Basket Case” as well as other memorable moments come like “Golden Era”, “The Best Act Of Them All (prod. by No Sleep)” and “M.I.A”. All throughout the beats are simply hypnotic. Soulful, understated and laid back, with classic piano-driven retro sounds bubbling through neo-soul rhythms, you can do anything with this kind of music. Make love, cruise in the car or just listen in and chill out all by yourself at midnight.
It’s really cool to hear modern hip-hop produced with a respect and appreciation of roots music and a lyrical content that goes beyond the tired cliches. Shaggy Rogers is always intelligent, and by turns humorous, cynical and uplifting. This is coupled with an infallible ability to write simple yet meaningful rhymes.
Finally, Shaggy Rogers display his innate knowledge of writing a tune that will stick in your head for quite a few days on end. Soulful and mellow, About Mind is, above all else a very fine album. It flows from beginning to end from the deep lyrics to the wide range of music he provides, proving that he is not your conventional rapper but a serious emcee!
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