Atlanta, Georgia is home to some of the biggest names in the music industry. It is home to Sevendust, Collective Soul, Stuck Mojo, and Stuck Mojo just to name a few. It’s also home to hip-hop duo Outkast, whose members just recently announced that they are heading back on the road together after an extended hiatus to work on their own projects. For all of the big name acts that call “Hotlanta” home, there are just as many lesser known acts that call that great city home, too. One of those acts in question is another hip-hop duo that goes by the name of Ante Meridian. The duo—Rozewood and Mr. Enok—re-issued its debut album this week. At a time when mainstream hip-hop has become as tried and boring as mainstream rock, Ante Meridian’s debut proves to be a breath of fresh air for purist hip-hop and rap fans.
‘True Friend’ is the perfect kickoff to Sons of Heaven, the duo’s debut record. Emcee Rozewood ruminates in this song about the loss of a friend to what would seem like gang violence. He writes on the track, “Today I cried/Lookin’ at your photo/My n****s is gone/Thought about buying a gun and comin’ along/But it’s time for revenge/Return death to death givers/And dump they body in the soon to be red river/Sittin’ in my crib/On the stress mode/Loadin’ the clip…I can’t take it/The beauty of a childhood has been forsaken/Dear God please forgive me/For the acts I will do/The gats I will choose to spray s***…” There’s obviously some deep emotion expressed through this song. What really makes the song interesting is the control that both Rozewood and Mr.Enok exhibit through the song. The easy thing to do would have been to craft a battle rap style song. Instead, the duo crafted a song that presents a figure with what would seem a much more collected thought process. The song’s almost eerie, underlying piano lick set against Rozewood’s cool, collected rhymes creates a truly powerful first impression for the pair. It’s only the beginning of what fans will appreciate from this record, too.
Sons of Heaven’s second track, ‘N.Y. Thing’ is another impressive track. The song is quite literally a lyrical love letter to the city that never sleeps. Rozewood and Mr. Enok pay tribute to New York in this song. It opens with a short sample with a man stating, “You’re a New Yorker/That will never change/You got New York in your bones/Spend the rest of your life out West/But you’re still a New Yorker.” From here, the duo goes on to write of their favorite city, “If you’ve ever been to New York/You would understand what feel like to be caught in a wasteland/Trying to survive with a gun on your waistband/No matter where I’m at/I know where I am.” The tribute goes on from here , bringing up memories of friends from the duo’s past that lived in New York’s five boroughs. It might be pushing it, but it almost presents a song much in the same vein of Scarface’s ‘My Block’ just with a slightly different attitude. It’s one more song that given the chance could be the duo’s next single.
The songs mentioned here are just small portions of what listeners have to look forward to from Ante Meridian’s new album. Just as worth noting from Sons of Heaven are the likes of: ‘Remember My Eyes’, ‘Limitless’, ‘Red Lotus Blossom’ and ‘13th Floor’ with its gentle string backing. That backing set against Rozewood’s talents make this one of the highest of highs on this record. These songs and all of the rest that make up the album’s seventeen total tracks are available now online on Ante Meridian’s Band Camp website, http://antemeridian.bandcamp.com and via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Sons-Heaven-Explicit-Ante-Meridian/dp/B00GYCIBRC/ref=sr_1_cc_3?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1389905971&sr=1-3-catcorr&keywords=Ante+Meridian. More information on Ante Meridian’s debut re-issue and more is available online at http://www.facebook.com/antemeridianhiphop. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.