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Music Review: Vado – Slime Flu

Posted by Okla Jones on October 26, 2010

During the late 1920s through the early 1930s, Harlem, NYC was the mecca of the African-American universe. It was a cultural movement that consisted of an evolution of literature, art and music. So, anyone from that particular suburb of Manhattan knows what it means to be born and raised there. Since then, the musical mecca has shifted to almost every part of the nation at one point or another. In the 1970s a new art form was presented to the national stage, the genre that we have all come to know and love as hip-hop. It was not centered in Harlem specifically, but in the borough of the Bronx… but it was New York City nonetheless. As history shows us, about every 10-15 years, the rap spotlight shifts back to NYC, and in 2010 the man who many consider would be the one to “bring the Big Apple back” is Cam’Ron’s protégé and fellow Harlemite, Vado.

Upon giving the phrase “slime” national acclaim, on October 12, Vado released his highly anticipated Slime Flu project to the masses. Lyrically he isn’t the sharpest rapper to ever do it, but like artist such as Nas, DMX, and 50 Cent (just to name a few…) he brings a refreshing sound to the game, one that we haven’t heard in a few years. Slime Flu contains 14 tracks, only four of which contain features; and I for one have always enjoyed this tactic because the listener can get more of the artist’s outlook on life, rather than hear a CD flooded with a whole bunch of other rapper’s viewpoints. On the introductory cut “Council Music”, Vado exudes Harlem with a braggadocios flow over an infectious, horn-driven production. Similar to the song previous stated, the concept of bragging, poverty and the drug game is commonly on tracks such as “Polo”, “The Greatest” and “Celebration”; which is a good thing because it gives the project a dimension, rather than just being all over the place.

Though Slime Flu was slated to be a mixtape release, Vado lets his listeners know that there is more than one facet to his rapping style. On the track “Snapped” he spits a catchy narrative about his dealings with an adulterous woman. In terms of features, Vado’s close friend and fellow member of the “Most Hated” click, Jae Millz makes an appearance on “Filthy Game”. The duo has an amazing chemistry, and both verses compliment each other on that normal, slick-talking New York flow. The quintessential eastcoast rap cut on the album would be that of “CrimeSquare”, in which the title artist enlists the help of Griff, helping the EP move along with that mid 90s feel that is always a joy to hear. On the final two cuts, (if it wasn’t expected…) Cam’Ron makes his appearance. “Shooter” is more of a head knocker, and more lyrically focused, while “Speakin’ In Tongues” is the album’s lone club banger. Either way, the U.N. definitely lets us know that they are here to stay.

Though the hooks on the EP can get redundant at certain points, Slime Flu is a great debut from a young, note-worthy emcee. Every track has a message, and Vado’s ability to ride beats and his rap style allows the listener to nod their head from track 1 to track 14 with ease. From the time he burst onto the rap scene about a year ago, he has progressed lyrically and possesses a work ethic that will ensure his staying power in a genre that is forever changing. Vado may not be the best rapper that New York City has ever produced but he definitely has the talent and respect to keep the Big Apple relevant for years to come.

– Oak

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