NEXT 100

The moon waxes towards the harvest solstice when the codifier, anxious to emit time, is able to contact Baltimore MC Labtekwon. Analog-ous to Linear B, 'Nile Child: Epic of a Kushite Warrior King' is his twelfth album since '93 - all independent.

"When pharoahs conquered people, they had it documented," Lab explains. "The style of those tablets was so arrogant and poetic. I wanted this album to evoke the same mystique as if it was buried and dug up 2,000 years later. I wanted to capture that eloquence and dignity in my own styles."

During his studies of antiquities, Labtekwon noticed that hip-hop (rhythmic speeches over drums) is a decendent of early African oral tradition (sacred oaths, chants and stories over an insisting drumming cipher). Lab derives deafening ability by channeling the past into the future - the perennial millennial. His album possess depth that cannot be fathomed by mere sounding.

"This is a concept album that you have to listen to a lot before you realize how it fits together. I selected material carefully - I had a dope song that was a verse talking about being a verse, like the life of a rhyme, but it didn't fit, so I had to pull it."

Say what? The metaphysics of metafiction will be discussed in due time. Ignore Siduri's distractions; stay focused. Lab's warrior instincts anticipate the codifier's next question. "I don't care about getting paid. Money is temporary and art isn't. I can achieve my goals without exploiting my art." Hip-hop has sacred roots, after all, and true warriors do not violate the ancient codes.

"All the stuff that's hot now is gonna die, anyway," Lab concludes. "There will be a renaissance, but no one person can be the answer. There has to be a movement of artists all looking forward. Listeners have to be ready for it, and artists have to be able to supply varieties - somebody has to give you what I don't and vice-versa. If there's a full circle of us, we can push forward." Now cipher.


Mush Records