Yunnan is a famously well-documented hub of the arts in China. The Southern Province is home to Dali, Shangri-La and, of course, Kunming. With soaring hills and geographical wonders in every corner of the province, Yunnan is a regular meeting place for tourists and artists in search of an escape from their hectic lives in the city.
Yunnan lies a few hours South of currently booming Rap and Hip Hop centre, Chengdu, and it appears that Chinese rap is in no danger of slowing down, as both interest and demand for the genre continuously grows.
Residents in the old musical stalwart city, Mixed Impurities, are back with their new record, City Walker, following fast on the heels of M.H.C.E, which was released in July 2017.
There are whisperings of De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest in their music. That Old School vibe has both its upsides and downsides, of course. Who can say that any track off De La Soul’s Three Feet High And Rising is bad?
Not to be detrimental but CityWalker sounds as if it was produced in the late 80’s or early 90’s. Easy to listen, W.T.F suffers from such outdated effects as scratched vinyl on W.T.F.
Ren Tu Ran starts by employing the use of a hype man, shouting out “Clap your hands everybody.” With that being said, once you get beyond the preliminary moments, the rest of the track flows like silk.
The vocals, throughout, are placed at the forefront, with the 808’s and synths reduced to mere rhythm. Perhaps that is just a consequence of faulty production, but in this day and age, with prevalent hip hop artists the likes of Vince Staples and Tyler The Creator transcending Hip Hop production styles, it is strange to hear the beats at the rear of the songs focus.
At any rate, the beats they do make give the album a sense of a strange type of ambience, as if the band are floating in mercury, floating somewhere out there in the darkness.
This is still only the second release from the band, and surely there is more to come. They, lyrically, can flow, and as their production abilities and opportunities grow, surely Mixed Impurities will also grow into a force.