With AfroPhysics there's no box. No tracks. No train. They've taken hip hop and music as a whole back to its roots. Something the mainstream industry are so keen to dissolve. Music when it was more than something to float aimlessly around the room and occasionally brush against our minds and hearts but completely ignoring our souls.
AfroPhysics equal freedom. The Truthsayers EP provides a collection of tapestries, oil paintings, graffiti and sculptures; presenting art in its most versatile, free flowing hiphopalicious form. Altogether creating a magnum opus.
The mintest thing about AfroPhysics is that they create no separation between music and life. Between stage and floor. Performers and audience. Beats and bus stops. As heard in 'School Days Part 2', which has an addictively personal flow to it. Aiwan's meticulous deliverance will make many of today’s gangster rappers bow their heads in shame. For two reasons, one, because she is fully aware that what she says into the mike comes out of the speakers, and two, because she makes us feel the need to ask these other spengs – why the hell do you feel the need to shout for? Ain't you got a mike mate?!
The beats and lyrics diffuse perfectly and purposefully into each other with no pre-mediation. As a decade strong drummer I'ma boldly raise my sticks, and do you know what? Yeh. My bass drum too. Above my head… I’ma raise ‘em and say that this is the some of the most effortlessly enticing drumming of this century. These beats are up there with Questlove and Ferraro. I'm talking head boppin', uprockin' percussion. With live drums that, face it people, remind us that the same old digitally produced beats we’re seeing these days are plain boring. They work these drum skins out with an everlasting energy.
At a first listen, the tempos are slightly confusing and there are a couple of occasions where it seems parts of the song have sprinted ahead, leaving the remainder to speed walk as best as they can behind them. But you don't even have to get half way to accustom your ears to that. And then it's pretty damn clear that whatever race it is they're running. It couldn't get much hotter.
The Grade 4 Remix of '1,2 & 3' has this eerie backdrop of Massive Attack combined with the intensity of DJ Shadow. But these are just two pennies in jars full of original AfroPhysics treasure. There are no neon lights. No grimey, rowdy or remotely violent melodies. Yet there is a certain passion and slight visible darker side to the AP mentality. Something I'm interested and slightly apprehensive to discover.
The open minded approach to rhythm and language open my own mind to such an extent that I can close my eyes and see the rhythm dancing before me. Balanced on one strong lyrical arm, with two legs rotating in an air flare, swiping round and round the rhythm. And the remaining hand raising two fingers in the gesture of peace.
AP describe their sound as hip hop fusion. Hip hop fusion isn't a plastic label, a geographical place, a colour of skin, a sex, age, or class. It's a mindset. Or, to give it real justice, it s soulset. It's that place where everything has an objective and nothing divides who you are from what you love.
As Aiwan quite rightly puts it, "you got choices, better make them well". Whatever made these guys choose to start jamming together, it truly was pure mother sticking destiny.