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I’m always a little wary about live albums in general. Almost every artist worth their salt (and not worth it) has at least one grandiose live offering, which generally follows a breakout hit album, but that doesn’t mean they should. EPs are more understandable because they serve as fun treats in between recordings or give a snapshot of that period in time for the artist. Underground rappers Ghani Gautama and Shadow from Charlotte execute this perfectly as they just put out a collaborative EP recorded this past February at…The Radio Room?
Yeah, you read that right. A live recording from Greenville’s beloved music dive. Admittedly, I was skeptical coming into this release. I mean, how good could a live recording at the Radio Room be? Don’t get me wrong, We Are The Upstate practically lives at the place. I love it. The shows always look and sound great. And while I know very little about making live recordings, it didn’t seem like the most ideal environment to lay down a live record for release.
Boy, was I wrong. Live At The Radio Room: WBPR sounds fantastic. Sure, it’s not Bullet in a Bible or Live at Leeds level production quality, but everything’s pretty clear, and both artists and their interaction with the crowd can be distinctly heard.
Ghanni Gautama and Shadow both prove their abilities as live emcees, flowing effortlessly over the surprisingly audible beats. I say ‘surprisingly’ because I can’t get over how solid the recording sounds. You can tell the rappers felt completely in their element and were simply just having a great time performing, and because that comes through within these seven tracks, the EP succeeds.
If you enjoy some fun, well executed underground hip hop, use Live at The Radio Room: WBPR as a great sampler for these two rappers’ catalogue. Fans of either shouldn’t miss out on this record as it shows a real sense of community within the small, local hip hop scene that I hope continues to grow.
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