Started From Scratch is it the title track from the brand new album from Reem Ali & Poe Hussle. The release is a collaboration offering a fusion of classic and fresh hip-hop. The opener takes a thick and mellow beat, a creatively unique backdrop that includes a stylish and powerful piano part, and a distinctly memorable hook section, combining it all to create a fresh touch of individuality. The vocal effect featured throughout gives the track both a modern and slightly haunting ambiance, something which actually adds to the intensity and emotion of the piece at it progresses.
The intensity of the music builds and builds for a number of reasons, not least of all due to the sincere and reflective nature of the lyrics. The production feeds into this well and the ambiance of the whole album has a certain vibe about it that seems mellow and even melancholy. The sounds and samples all fit a particular thread, yet there’s a distinct level of variation between tracks.
The themes vary and the story telling continues to be very honest and true to the artists involved and their own perspectives and experiences. Always though, in terms of subject matter, this idea of starting from scratch, starting from the bottom, is prevalent – referred to and returned to again and again. The consistency is something that further links everything together and adds to the mood and in fact the realness and openness of the release. The vocal effect and much of the instrumentation holds a further similarity, yet as mentioned, there’s plenty of variation between tracks, not least of all the energy expressed from one point to the next.
Fans of modern hip-hop will respond well to the ten track collaboration. Instrumentally there are plenty of laid back yet creatively intense soundscapes to get lost within, and in terms of lyricism and character there’s a lot to appreciate.