by: Rahul Reddy
I've known Brawdcast for almost 2 years, as he has been a guest on my radio show on numerous occasions. I've been anticipating the release of The Suburban Spokesman as long as I've known him, because I knew he had it in him to drop a dope album. This album even exceeded my expectations as Brawdcast mixes and matches a proper amount of gripping, emotional tracks with that ol' boom-bap to entice any fan of Hip-Hop.
The album starts off with the hell-raiser "This is It," a ruckus-inducing track produced by fellow O.C. native Behind Bars. Here, Brawdcast shows his emcee side as he rips apart the track with a ferocious flow and witty punchlines. "My album wouldn't even flop if it was Vlade Divac" is just an example of his punch lines, and I won't be able to name all the banging one-liners Brawdcast has or else I'd fill up a page or two. This is the first single off the album, and it really does an excellent job of letting the listener know about Brawdcast's lyrical skills. Following this joint is another mic-wrecker called "Showtime," produced by JJ Johnson. Brawdcast defines himself with these joints as an emcee not to be messed with, and he shines with his partners in rhyme, C4mula and Awdbal on the Behind Bars produced "Simbiotics." The trio of emcees drop hard lyrics over a beat filled with ominous vocals and hard samples, and it's just pure arms in the air type Hip-Hop music. However, Brawdcast isn't just a lyrical beast when it comes to spitting battle rhymes; Brawdcast really shines when he talks about his personal life.
On "What Now?," Brawdcast reminisces about missing his ex-girlfriend over dope production provided by Sophistic of Second Thought. While I normally don't like tracks of this nature, Brawdcast's ability to paint a picture of his relationship is just flat out remarkable. He follows "What Now," with the cleverly titled "Now" produced by Behind Bars. "What Now?" is the past, and "Now" is the present. He changes his tone and feelings about his ex; and you can hear the re-focus of Brawdcast on his music rather than drama. I think these tracks shine extra hard for me because the inherent realism in both tracks, you can tell that Brawdcast's emotions and stories are real as opposed to a lot of the abstract "emo" joints out there. These joints in no way disrespect his ex-GF, he is really talking to her through the joint as he even pleads for her to re-enter school. Brawdcast varies up his style even more on a lot of the chilled-down tracks that really solidify this release.
"Calm Down" features C4mula and Solomon as the three emcees break down their feelings on fakes and clowns in the rap game over a sick beat produced by Pro-I. "All That Jazz" follows in the same footsteps, featuring a catchy and infectious trumpet sample and the lyrics of N/A and Brawdcast. Both emcees here really do the beat justice which was produced by Diabolic. A favorite of many Brawdcast's fans is the sultry "Drunk Off Emotions" which features a smooth chorus by Ness. The teasing horn works well as Brawdcast talks about how tipsy he gets off the feelings he has for a certain girl. "Basics" featuring Schwartzenegroe really sums up the album to me. The mellow, J- Dillaesque beat provides a perfect backdrop for both emcees to talk about how they simply just want to rock for ya'll. This is that joint you hear at a Hip-Hop spot and you stop whatever your doing to slowly bop your head.
Brawdcast has many cameos that rock the spot like the joint he has with Pigeon John "Movin' On" and the track with up and coming LA emcee Trek Life on "New Day." The only complaint I have is the album is quite long, and I feel certain tracks don't stand up against the surefire bangers on the album. Plus, certain choruses like the one on "New Day" didn't supplant the track in any way to me. The bottom line is that this album is mad solid and makes a strong statement about the independent Hip-Hop scene in Orange County. This region will not be slept on much longer if albums of this quality are dropped on a regular basis. People have said that albums are supposed to be musical representations of the artists who created them. Brawdcast really represents himself well on this album, whether he is showing his mic-wrecking side or his emotional side. "At Last," yet another sick track, has Brawdcast ending the track saying "Open the curtains at last." The curtains are finally open for Brawdcast, and The Suburban Spokesman will stand as one of the strongest releases of 2006, and it is an album that establishes Brawdcast as an artist to be respected.