by: Sean Boy
Prefuse 73 aka Scott Herren fiddles and tweaks his way into a heretofore-unknown musical dimension and in the process creates a genre-defining recording. To simply pigeonhole the genre, which is what all genre-naming does anyway, call it Intelligent Hip-Hop. But Prefuse 73 is more than the sum of its parts.
“I’m into creating a whole new mangled language,” says Herren. “It’s a form of communication without communicating, a new flow when you feel like you’re listening to a standard hip hop track but there’s something in it that’s not right.” He’s mangled language all right and his first victims are hip-hop MC’s. Vocal Studies & Uprock Narratives feature such MC’s as Mikah 9 (Freestyle Fellowship), MF Doom and Beans (Anti-Pop Consortium) whose rhymes were often cut up and pasted into nothing more than blips and bleeps of sound. Meaning is digitally scratched out until nothing’s left but rhythm.
“I like to use MCs as another layer of music. You don’t have to get the heavy load of what an MC’s saying that might piss you off, some sort of bullshit you don’t wanna hear about.” Herren’s dropped the education in “edutainment” and is content with wowing his audience with his dirty beat science.
Vocal Studies & Uprock Narratives is a wide array of sounds and moods. From punchy and apocalyptic (“Radio Attack” and “Eve of Dextruct”), to smooth and groove (“Smile In Your Face” and “Afternoon Love-In”). When Prefuse 73 speaks all he’s asking you to do is listen.