|Kick-ass cover art by @Rusty_Shackles|
Admittedly I already knew he was dope from his turn on Adam WarRock's debut album, but that was a concept piece and Tribe was mostly playing a part. What I wanted to hear, even if I didn't fully realize it back then, was Tribe One just being Tribe One. This particular revelation didn't come until that fateful July evening.
That night Tribe said—and I honestly didn't know if he was joking or not—that he was working on an EP of raps over Anamanaguchi instrumentals. It was a weird concept, but I was all for it. I just wanted more music. I wanted more Tribe One. Which brings us to today's release.
Along the way we've all been treated to a couple of wonderful singles and a specialized collection of mostly live material that Tribe used to round out the merch booth on mc chris's Race Wars Tour. Hell, I even had the good fortune to see Tribe perform again alongside Adam, int eighty, The ThoughtCriminals and Illbotz, a crew that I proudly and frequently refer to as my fam. And it was all good.
Fuck that; it was all great.
Tribe One has become one of my favorite MCs, with his casual front-porch flow and his commanding but extremely personable presence, but more importantly he's become one of my favorite storytellers. anamanaGANGSTA // Devil Rhymeosaur is a collection of borrowed beats, sure, but the stories are all his.
From the project intro ("anamanaGANGSTA"), a lo-fi funkadelic mission statement, to the titular closer ("Devil Rhymeosaur"), the best damn intro track to ever grace the end of a disc, it's an amazing ride that, thankfully, I was able to experience in its infancy. "Expand Your Brain," another track I was treated to early in its development, is a chippy club banger and "I Will Make You Believe," which I've just heard for the first time myself, has a sort of maddening urgency that can't help but impress even if it runs a bit short.
The true highlights, however, are introspective WarRock collab "Midlife Crisis" and the monolithic braggadocio of "I'm Kind of a Big Deal," a joint that's been my new favorite song ever since a demo landed in my inbox a couple weeks back. I really can't praise that track ( or Tribe One) enough.
The six song EP is currently freely available via Bandcamp, and you need to download a copy right now.