Saturday, February 5, 2011

Emcees of the Month: Pac Div

A few months ago my homie Marcel sends me a copy of a mixtape from these new southern California rap cats named Pac Div (short for Pacific Division). He says, "You need to check these cats. They for real." I'm like, "That's what's up. I'll get to it."

However, it's no secret to Marcel that I'm notorious for sleeping on new music. If I'm listening to music, I'm usually playing stuff from three or four years ago, if not longer. I think I might have played the Trinity album by Slum Village for an entire year and half. There's something comforting to me about listening to familiar lyrics and instrumentation. I like to rap along with the track, move to musical elements I can anticipate, and search for hidden nuances in established material.

I'm also pretty lazy about putting new stuff on my iPod.

So as I was trying to figure out which emcee(s) I'd like to highlight this month I thought back to that Pac Div mixtape sitting on my desktop. So I unzipped the file, threw it on my Pod, and had a listen on my way to work Tuesday.

Man, am I glad I did. 'Cause these cats are solid.

Pac Div is a hip hop group from Palmdale, California consisting of a pair of brothers, Like and Mibbs, along with their longtime friend BeYoung. Hip hop duos or trios are becoming a rarity in hip hop these days, so it's refreshing to see new groups emerging with a emphasis on collaborative longevity. Usually when I listen to emcees from the west coast, I'm hindered by the difficulty of adjusting to the west coast dialect, which isn't frequently heard in my music catalog. It's a challenge I need to address. I grew up listening to east coast and southern hip hop, so the west coast dialect almost sounds foreign, demanding me to give particular attention to the textual elements of the rhyme.

However, with Pac Div I found it much easier to listen to them without my habitual response to California rappers. Their dialects aren't any less pronounced than most of their west coast counterparts, but the arrangement of their instrumentals coupled with their exceptional lyrical ability allowed me to fall into the pocket of their music in very natural, organic way. I'm sure people in traffic were wondering what had me bobbing my head so hard!

Check out this freestyle session with Pac Div on The World Famous Wake-Up Show with Sway and King Tech. Yea, these cats are ill.


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