Listening to experimental hip-hop projects like Raw Poetic’s Gulliver makes me feel like a shitty music journalist. Where to start to interpret the music? What does it mean? Luckily, a recent tweet kinda gives me a green card to skip going deep: “Is this a concept album? Nah…” Phew.
At the same time, listening to albums like Gulliver makes me feel hopeful. In times that sometimes feel close to a saturation point when it comes to beats and rhymes, it’s refreshing to hear artists who are still able to push the boundaries of hip-hop music. And above all: to hear artists who dare to, instead of taking the easy road to plays (oh hi, lofi).
Gulliver features some of Raw Poetic’s favorite musicians. Including Damu The Fudgemunk on flute, PFritz (of Restoring Poetry in Music) on guitar, Luke Stewart on bass, 12th Doctor, Discipline 99, Aaron Gause, and Raw Poetic himself on keys and productions.
Ever since “thinking back and looking forward” as Panacea together with producer K-Murdock, emcee/producer Raw Poetic sounds like he’s been on a quest to find the thin line between rap and poetry. Fifteen years later, he’s still at it and shows no signs of slowing down. Or in his own words to (again) weakly use Twitter as a source for context: “I’m underground. And I love it!” And I salute him for that.