Released June 14, 2011

Track Listing

  1. Cinemetropolis
  2. Hussein
  3. Fou Lee
  4. Lalo Schifrin
  5. Seijun Suzuki
  6. Anna Karina
  7. Marion Sunshine
  8. Slick Watts
  9. George Jackson
  10. Oskar Barnack ∞ Oscar Grant
  11. Yuri Kochiyama
  12. Rani Mukerji
  13. Tommy Chong
  14. Chief Sealth
  15. Fin

Review

Forgoing the typical label deal for their latest album, the Seattle hip-hop duo Blue Scholars went to Kickstarter. Their fan base donated money to finance the album’s release. With over 2,000 backers and over $60,000 in donations, rapper Geologic and producer Sabzi released their most engaging and progressive album to date.

As the title suggests, the album is what the group calls “A sort of reverse movie soundtrack.” Blue Scholars being the movie buffs they are, name many of the songs after various people involved in the world of cinema. But a good portion of the songs are also named after other things like stores, activists and basketball players.

The song Slick Watts is an ode to the city of Seattle and the Supersonics. Geo shouts out the various neighborhoods that make up Seattle in the first verse and name-drops former Sonic players in the second verse.

Sabzi’s production is top-notch on this album. The whole album has a large-scale, movie feel to it. Sabzi is also showing versatility ranging from chopping vocals in Slick Watts to make a dope beat on Oskar Barnack ∞ Oscar Grant using camera sounds. Geo, from the lyrical standpoint has film allusions but he doesn’t try to jam every song with them. Instead, he balances them out with other topics ranging from recording the police of their actions to an ode to Yuri Kochiyama.

Cinemetropolis is one of the best hip-hop releases this year. Four years since their last release and the Seattle hip-hop scene has now grown with Jake One producing for your favorite rappers and Macklemore releasing great music as well. But Cinemetropolis shows that you need to check out Blue Scholars before you hear anything else coming out of the Northwest.

Cinemetropolis

iTunes