BluRum13 – Inverted
BluRum13 is a New York City born and Maryland raised rap artist who plays outside of the proverbial box. Whether on his own or with his group WaterPower (featuring Keyez, Primo the Cinematic and Resyte Theez); BluRums13 shows a level of creativity in his music that all too often lacking in rap and hip-hop. Over time, BluRum13 has worked with artists such as US3, Bullfrog, True Ingredients, DJ Vadim, Luke Vibert and DJ Grandtheft, among others. BluRum13’s latest release, a full-length album entitled Inverted, finds BluRum13 vacillating between blandness and brilliance.
BluRum13 gets the vibe rolling with "Kenetic", a rap anthem dedicated to becoming the best you can be and not allowing anyone to take that away. BluRum13 speaks to sociopolitical history in this number, noting the difference between hip-hop and other musical movements from history. "TLO" is an enjoyable song with wonderfully counter rhythms masking a simple dance beat. The key here is that BluRun13 keeps things simple and lets the cadence of his voice blend with the rhythms of the arrangement.
"Strivin'" is all about overcoming the culture of violence and bettering yourself. Abstract Rude guests with a vibrant and intelligent delivery that's a breath of fresh air. "Inverted Intro" feels like a throwaway piece, perhaps an unfinished rhythm that BluRum13 likes bit hasn't been able to turn into something else. This segues into "Cereal". A pop/hip-hop number that's catchy enough to transition from house parties to clubs and perhaps even to commercial radio. "All Day" finds BluRum13 extolling the virtues of hip-hop both as an escape from life and a tool for social and personal change. This is terribly catchy, and may represent the best chance for a breakout track on the album.
"Mash On" keeps up the assault of catchy, rock-influenced hip-hop. BluRum13 spits like a madman in another catchy number you'll have a hard time shaking. "First Signs of Paranoia" is a skit set to music about space aliens. This is an interesting sidebar but the piece really doesn't add anything to album continuity. "Quixotic" finds BluRum13 sinking into a more benign and bland style. This feeling continues through "Venga" and even "Warrior Souls".
The skit "Rum Matter Master" is more of a collection of samples than any sort of cohesive skit. BluRum13 does set up a nice funky rhythm underneath it all, but the effort is wasted here. "Universal" has a much more vibrant feel, cranking out a macho beat, but losing any hip factor early on by spelling out the title repeatedly. BluRum13 picks up the slack with a whipsaw rhyming style that kicks. "Distortion" has a dreamy, new age hip-hop vibe, while BluRum13 rides a streaming style that as much about filling space as telling a story. There are great elements here, but the song never quite finds balance. BluRum13 closes with the eclectic cacophony of "Still Living", mixing a funhouse Caribbean sound with electro and hip-hop. There's a party atmosphere to the song that's undeniable, but there's also a surprising lack of cohesion.
BluRum13 hits highs and lows on Inverted, but the musical highs make any lows worth wading through. It’s interesting that Inverted takes steps to break out of format at times, but BluRum13 sticks to the typical rap album format with uninteresting skits. BluRum13 has the talent to break the mold here, but stays stuck in the cliché. Nonetheless, BluRum13 shows definite moments of brilliance here. Don’t be surprised if one or two tracks from this album break out of the underground and take over the streets.
Rating: 3.5 Stars (Out of 5)
Learn more at www.blurum13.com.