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Salloum: “Hollow Dreamz” shatters the limits and expands the possibilities of current hip-hop trends

“Hollow Dreamz” represents the consciousness of the people.

Salloum started writing rhymes in 2007. After honing his skills for the next 5 years he released his debut project Epitome Perennial (2013) followed by HollowDreamz (2014). Looking widely across various genres you’ll find a category of artists like Bob Marley, Mos Def and Rage Against the Machine whose music hit on more levels; one, the sheer gut level – strong musicianship, attitude, and power ; two, the emotional level – incendiary tirades about empowerment, poverty, injustice; three, the intellectual level  -articulate, poetic and thought-provoking lines that stick with you. Salloum’s artistic prowess shown on “Hollow Dreamz”, belongs to this same category of artists.


Before listening to a single note of music on “Hollow Dreamz” I read through the lyric sheet. Salloum’s messages go way above and beyond the ‘get-money-get-laid’ aesthetic that has swamped Hiphop in recent years. One track in, and the first six lines don’t fail to impress: “Blessing God with the press of competition aimed for best / A soul, mind, will, a swagger vexed to impress/ Addressed clean and clear when spoken from the chest / Fulfilling truth scoped whole amidst powers / there to lead and die for moral justice to survive / I’m leading on a tightrope  / presenting hope to lead people…”

This is the real deal. Salloum has a lyrical depth all his own that few mainstreamers can touch. Salloum is for lovers of Hip-Hop who expect and require a positive voice, someone who represents the consciousness of the people. By the time you get to tracks like “Dark Jam” and “Silver Lining”, which looks at the Charles Manson perspective of events, you’ll be wondering why rappers like 2Chainz, Tyga, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, and a whole bunch of others are even in the game!

None of them are ever going to write lines (from “Dark Jam”) like: “I spend my lifetime scheming for my right minds dream fulfillment / Gleaming like a superstar illuminant / my energy encapsulates spoken word symmetry / my heart poetry reflects tones of sorrow misery / survived through and through / I lived to learn, guide through / hearken souls pious cries died to…”

Throughout the 13 tracks which make up “Hollow Dreamz”, Salloum captures the essence of Hip hop, which is communicating messages and thoughts that mean something. He looks at topics and themes from all angles without passing sentences or judgments. In short, Salloum eliminates the superficiality permeating modern-day hip hop, from his spoken poetry.

Besides shattering the limits and expanding the possibilities of current hip-hop trends,  as a conscious and cultural force, “Hollow Dreamz” shines for its blend of diverse samples, infectious beats, and intelligent lyrics. Moreover it’s Salloum’s fiercely intelligent vision and his compelling delivery that makes the album totally worthwhile.

I could go on for hours citing phrases, dissecting individual songs and their perpetuating themes, but this recording plays out like a concept album and needs to be heard as a whole, for a 360° vision of Salloum’s range of thoughts. Suffice to say that songs which quickly capture the ear with catchy beats and smooth flows include: “Late At Night”, “The Last Stand”, “Dupree A”, “Dark Jam”, “This Is The Blues”, “Never Ever Back” and “Rock With Me”.

hollowdreamz-salloumKinetic, dense and urgent, the whole “Hollow Dreamz” album holds together as one collective hunk, of eloquent socio-politics and sonic art. An album that every serious hip-hop fan should own!


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