The Black & White

Parallel Thought pays hommage to hip-hop predecessors

By Tim Klepp

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Photo courtesy of prohiphop.com

Photo courtesy of prohiphop.com.

Hieroglyphics frontman and producer Del the Funkee Homosapien and Weatherman rapper Tame One joined forces to create rap super group, Parallel Thought.  The pair blends east and west coast sounds in their recently-released debut album, appropriately titled “Parallel Uni-Verses.”

Del’s best project since “Deltron 3030,” Parallel Thought combines his witty and eerie sound with Tame’s gritty flow in the footsteps of hip-hop artist Method Man.  Many will recognize Del from his appearance in the Gorillaz’s “Clint Eastwood,” and he matches this previous intensity throughout the album.

Tame is relatively undiscovered, but he will likely gain notoriety after working with the legendary MC, Del.

The album opens with the track “Specifics,” in which Tame asserts “what you commit to memory, / I could wing it and bring it doper.”  This sets the mood for the rest of the album, as the duo spits fluid, improvised lyrics over a simple beat.

In an era of rap full of strong personalities with little substance, Parallel Thought is very refreshing.  Instead of centering their songs on themselves, the two pay homage to their predecessors in an ode to hip-hop that isn’t touched on enough.

That being said, much of the album’s sounds are somewhat similar; nearly every song follows the formula of Parliament-influenced bass lines, eerie piano tones and lyrics lamenting about the state of society.  Their strongest track, “Flashback,” is one of the few strays from the other songs.

Nonetheless, Parallel Thought is full of passion and insight.  While it is not perfect, it’s a great addition to any collection of underground rap.

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