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REVIEW: "Separation" from Seek (of RADIx)

 

As far as young dudes go, Seek is a relative veteran on this Boston rap scene. As one-half of RADIx (with Quite Nyce), he’s been shuffling between here and the rest of America for half-a-decade with boxfuls of mixtapes under each arm. His hustle has paid off; Seek hasn’t had a job outside of hip-hop for years, and, while RADIx has always been a tangential group in Beantown, they’ve become a constant force on the underground and college circuits. Hell - there have even been a few years when RADIx was the only East Coast rap act on the Warped Tour; that might not sound sweet to indie rhyme snobs, but those angry adolescents buy the fuck out of merchandise.

At the April Western Front release party for Quite Nyce and Raydar Ellis - who recently collaborated for the one-off duo disc Champs vs. The League - Seek seemed lost in the audience while his co-defendant rocked without him. At one point, Ellis thanked Seek for lending him his homeboy, but you could tell that while the gesture was appreciated, Seek just isn’t the type of MC who likes being in an audience - he’s the type who likes moving crowds.

“Perspective” (video above) is the crown classic here, and not just because Edo G puts his philosophical stamp on it. Whereas Seek blasts through nearly every RADIx track - making rewinding, err, seeking, necessary if you really want to catch his message - here, on such cuts as the introspective “Judge Me,” he slows it down, and even breaks for the occasional digestive hook. He needed “Separation;” anyone who’s ever appreciated RADIx was eager to hear him speak his mind straight through, like we’ve heard Quite Nyce do on his lonesome efforts.

Fortunately, the minimalist production reel bangs from end to end; anything beyond expertly executed mellow melodies and reliable drum rides would be too much here. This is an opportunity to bump Seek through and through - a chance to get more intimate with an MC who has, until now, been finishing his verses right when heads begin wanting to hear more. One moment that’s a bit strange, however, is “Love,” which rips the same sample as “Supa Dynamite” by Asamov with Mr. Lif. This would not normally be problematic, but, in this case, it reminded me of how much Seek sounds like Lif in style, voice, and even substance. I suppose it’s all good though; if you have to find inspiration in anyone, it might as well be hip-hop’s preeminent intellectual paragraph manipulator. Dudes without tongues as swift as Seek’s, though, should not attempt to tread along the same path.

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