Travis Blaque is a man who has been bubbling around for a long time now. Well I see 15 years as a long time, originally hooking up with the SL Troopers. Over this time Travis’ work has matured and now he is offering up this 14 track album which delivers that gravitas you’d expect from a man of his talents.
You may have heard of him from his previous collaborative efforts – The Batchelors which features Fabian (Travis’ alter Ego), Future and Mac or Who R U? on which Travis teamed Apollo, Dom G & Evon. This long awaited new LP features production from fellow South Londoner turned good, Drew who has produced quality beats for some of the biggest names in the game.
02. In Pursuit Of The Flesh
03. Who R U (ft. Apollo And Dom G)
04. When I Was @ School
05. Vowel Movement
06. Home (ft. Farasha)
07. A Song 4 Troy
08. Al Is Dead (ft. Noel Mccoy)
09. I Couldn't Help Another Guys Girl Liking Me
10. Let Me Be The One (ft. Amore)
11. Raymond Cist
12. All She Wants To Do Is Dance
14. The Scene
The LP is sparked off with the now somewhat unimaginatively titled and formulaic in terms of album arrangement Intro, but don’t let that fool you. What follows is a funky live intro of a host calling travis to the stage and Travis quickly breaking down his history. The first full track In Pursuit Of The Flesh opens with some mad sax samples as Travis drops his lyrics about the human need for sex and different scenarios including one guy who turns to prostitutes to satisfy his desires. From the off you can see that in terms of production that this LP is going to be a severely solid offering.
Who R U is one of those braggadocios tracks in which the MCs drop numerous rhyming couplets proving how great they are and makes worthwhile use of fellow South London associates Apollo and Dom G who add their own twist to the vocals. The backing is slow and lazy predominated by the easy going bass line. The bouncyness factor is raised for When I Was @ School in which Travis reminisces about his youth and the lack of education it afforded him. Still funky Vowel Movement produced by 3rd Floor follows with a bubbling electronic bass and sees Travis drop a load of anecdotes about his past and personality.
Home opens with some jazzy keys before contrasting thumping metronomic drums, smooth strings and keyboard chords coupled with moaned female humming are let loose in the mix. The easy going track has the soulful tones of Farasha adding her touch to the chorus. A Song 4 Troy follows with chirpy production from Keith Lawrence in which Travis raps lovingly about his son and the experiences he is going through as a father. Both the previous two tracks show Travis' skill in telling a story that is close to him and on the verge of being overtly emotional.
A 70’s funk backing for Al Is Dead is reminiscent of Freddy’s Dead. Travis shows his ability to drop a complex and well structured story rap and brings back early 90’s soul favourite Noel McCoy who croons his way through the chorus.
A plethora of sampled stabs abound on I Couldn't Help Another Guys Girl Liking Me whereas sweetly played keys produce the mellow vibe created for Let Me Be The One. On this track about love Travis chooses to adopt a whispered delivery which matches the tone of the song and the vibe created. Again Travis gets in a guest to help out on the chorus and this time the vocals are courtesy of the harmonious Amore.
The LP enters its final stages with Raymond Cist a standard Hip Hop bumper permeated by some rapid highs and stabs. Another deep track with intelligent and concise lyrics about race issues. All She Wants To Do Is Dance sees the return of Dom G whose verses are interspersed with Travis'. A super funky slap bass rides under a rimshot snare, but the severity of the graphic details regarding an abused woman make for a somewhat disturbing listen if you take in the scope of what the MCs are trying to tell you. Some of the nastiest stuff in society!
The pen-ultimate track Wannabe examines some of the sub standard acts or ones which are not keeping it real or want to be too commercial and chase fame. Travis cleverly manages to reference umpteen celebrity names and does it all in his usual humorous manner. The LP rounds off with The Scene a big beated thumper with a sort of wood block melody. Keeping things hot to the end Travis asks why he has not had as much exposure as he should and states how he deserves more shine from those who purport to know what they are on about. People need to remove their blinkers.
The CD sleve is tastily designed and comes with full production credits and the lyrics, which is the sign of an MC that is confident with his offerings and is trying to hide noting. Travis Blaque has lofty goals and aims to deliver non-watered down Hip Hop which remains true to its goals. He has reaffirmed his desire for respect from fans and with this release is certainly entitled to it.