Ever since A Tribe Called Quest debuted back in the day, I have been a big fan of the jazzy flavored hip-hop grooves. I love jazz and hip-hop, so this combination works well for me. Many groups have tried to capture the true essence of meshing jazz and hip-hop, but it doesn't always work out as planned in many cases. Most of the time there is too much of one genre, and not enough of the other. Balance is key! One of the newer hip-hop crews that have created a beautiful jazzy sound consistently are the Sound Providers. The production duo (Jay Skillz & Soulo) reppin' San Diego, California has had my head bobbin' since 1998! One of my favorite projects by the SP was entitled, "A Evening With The Sound Providers" that definitely put these katz on my list of top production teams. On that project they collaborated with Little Brother, Maspyke and Asheru. All very different emcees, but each one sounded tight over those jazzy SP beats. Honestly, what is an emcee without dope production? A fake spoken word poet. Seriously though, if you have missed out on the Sound Providers over the last 8 years, track down their older stuff and hear what you've been missing.
Now, in 2006 the Sound Providers are back with a new project showcasing a solid emcee from Florida named Surreal. The project is called, "True Indeed!" Like many of you, I had never heard of Surreal until he worked with the SPs. I am always skeptical of new rappers in the beginning because you just never know what they will bring to the table. Will he sound like Tone Loc or Tony Yayo? Can he flow? Does his raps have substance, or just rims, timbs, booties and gun talk? I am happy to say that Surreal is a solid emcee. He's not real flashy with the wordplay like a Jadakiss or Phonte, but he can definitely hold his own. I think the SPs bring the best out of him with the nice production on this album. Another good underground album that will probably go right under the radar of most hip-hop heads because of poor promotion. Nobody said the life of an independent artist was easy, right? If you like groups like Jurassic 5, The Procussions, P.U.T.S & Asamov, checkout the Sound Providers.
Still a skeptic? Sure you are, so checkout their websites and hear some of their stuff for yourself.