It’s been a good Fall for Hand’Solo Records. Back in September, they celebrated their 20th Anniversary with the 40 track, double disc release of Basement of Badmen 3, a collection of all the great artists who have contributed to the label. They followed that up in October with X-Faction 2: Reanimated, Primordial Emcee’s latest comic book mash up album. While both of these were great, it appears that they saved the best for last this year with the release of Blow the Fuck Up But Stay Humble from More or Les. A fast paced, in your face collection of rhymes, Blow the Fuck Up But Stay Humble plays to all of More or Les’ strengths. The result is a fantastic showcase of his fast phrasing, meaningful storytelling and sophisticated sense of humour.
Right out of the gate, Les hits you with the gut punch that is Pon Farr Dilithium (featuring DJ Ollie Teeba), a track that’s very difficult not to dance to. He follows it up with a couple of tracks, No Turning Back and Long Way To Go, that focus on moving forward in the rap game (and in essence life itself) by being smart, working hard and not letting oneself get lazy or distracted by bullshit. Drive and Determination are key. This is a running theme throughout the album as Les pulls no punches when it comes to apathy. That’s not the only thing he pulls no punches on.
What makes More or Les both a strong and relevant performer is that his raps actually mean something. He doesn’t waste time talking about how great he is. Instead, he focuses on problems and situations that affect a lot of us. He points out these problems in a very accessible ways, presenting them from his personal perspective. A great example of this is That Look, an interlude on the album that addresses misogyny in retail. Whenever he goes to a store with his girlfriend, his sister, his mother, etc…..the salesman always thinks he’s the one that’s buying the item. They completely ignore the woman who’s with him. Les calls bullshit and puts those chumps in their place.
Another enjoyable facet of Les’ work is his sense of humour which is on full display in the tongue-in-cheek Man Up (featuring Schaffer the Darklord). The track begins with Les professing to Schaffer that there’s a lack of “Manly Men” around these days except for the two of them. The duo then begins to rap about the many “manly” things they do on a regular basis like going to the spa, drinking tea and watching The Devil Wears Prada. There’s a level of sophistication that sets Les apart as his delivery is always clever yet still accessible.
The stand out track on the album would have to be Hate Rap. The title implies this might be an angrier tune but that’s not the case. It’s actually a statement about how Les (and a number of his Backburner crewmates, like Wordburglar who is featured on this track) is a more accessible hip hop artist because he raps about stuff that matters and doesn’t try to front with a “fake accent” or a “thug life” mentality. He’s even liked by folks that “Hate Rap”. As someone who appreciates hip hop but doesn’t like some of the overused stereotypes, I get his sentiment. More of Les raps about what interests me. Be it social issues or The Transformers, he’s got you covered.
If you’re looking for a great hip hop album to give your loved ones this holiday season, I would definitely recommend Blow The Fuck Up But Stay Humble by More or Les. It’s available now from Hand’Solo Records. Just Man Up and buy it already.
If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!