“Sessions of Fate” (2016) is an album from rock infused hip hop collective Rouse Concert. from California’s East Bay. Rouse Concert. is a collaborative hip-hop band collective. The album includes numerous artists along with core members; emcees Birth & Sourdough from East Bay Legion and True Hogs Club, along with vocalist Christy England, drummer Sebastian Hart, and musician John Anzaldo Jr. The album is out through FertileFolklore.com a small independent record label and Production Company from the San Francisco East Bay Area.
If you’re expecting a straightforward hip-hop album with seething, pop-off verses, you may be disappointed. “Sessions of Fate” is an alternative album that coalesces hip-hop, rock, soul, jazz, punk and funk influences. Rouse Concert. don’t seem interested in posturing, sullen negativity, or presenting a shallow front that resembles what a bunch of rappers and musicians should look and act like—they’re unabashed creativity personified.
“Sessions of Fate” solidifies everything that makes Rouse Concert. different from any other hip hop artist out there. They do away with all the lazy musical touches showcased by their forbearers and peers. Their sound has mutated into something simultaneously more organic and futuristic-sounding.
Save for a few arresting slow jams, this is music that slaps you in the face, the furthest thing from passive. Each collaborative artist’s personality leaps off the page on any given moment after finding a way to blend in and out of the project’s instrumental and vocal swirl, meeting its match with the quirky arrangements.
There are girls and boys, rapping and singing, melodies and harmonies, acoustic and electric, and more musical ingredients than you could probably fit into a giant pressure cooker. Just as Rouse Concert. have managed to bring the music into a tight orbit around their own vibrant individuality, they surround themselves with artists that somehow all fit perfectly despite their differences.
The more I think about it, considering the words “eclectic”, “free association” and “alternative” seems like a necessary step on the road to accepting Rouse Concert. as one of the most creative, talented collectives currently working in any discipline of music.
Enjoying the 20 tracks that make up “Sessions of Fate” requires us to set aside some of the preconceived notions we all bring to first listens of new music. Maybe you’re an exception, and you heard the “Interrogator” song and immediately thought that this is where rap needed to go next, but for everyone else, we need that as a moment of uncomfortable meditation to fully prepare ourselves for the full Rouse Concert. musical onslaught.
Once you see that Rouse Concert’s. identity is actually uncompromising and unconcerned with the way things are in hip hop, and more in favor of the way things should be, there’s a level of respect that goes beyond simple understanding and acceptance.
We may not see eye-to-eye with Rouse Concert on everything they are doing, or comprehend all of what they are trying to achieve musically, but there can be no doubt that they have created a project that will leave many totally awestruck. As for favorite tracks and titles, you can find your own personal flavor buried in the many blends available. Just start from track one, and run it through a couple of times non-stop!