Although he’s often seen tearing up local open mics, Chicago’s Gilead 7 is no mere battle MC. You can, however, judge him by his looks. His skinny, bespectacled frame fully betray the highly intelligent, well-read, and quick-thinking/spitting personality that lies within. After years of hand-to-hand self-made CD slanging, Gilead has hooked up with Chicago indie Reserved and dropped a proper album that will hopefully put the world up on what old boy’s got. On “Fly on the Wall,” he opens with the line, “Do you remember Organized Konfusion?” If you don’t, it’s okay because Gilead will fill you in, traffics in the same sort of lyrically hefty, street-level scientifics that Monche and Prince Po did. His dense, complex rhymes are littered with lofty references to ancient scrolls and biblical texts, but he delivers them with enough confidence and swagger to prevent his album from turning into an annoying, overintellectual backpacker nerd-out. In fact, his compositional scope is impressive. On “The Message” he critiques religion, while he ruminates on a bad open mic night on “Devestation Diary.” “Art Institute” is a semiautobiographical cut full of lush art-related imagery, “El Train” places his creative process in the context of the titular mode of urban transportation. “Flower Child Neo Hippie” is a hypnotic groove in 6/8, as is “Solinari”which lumbers along until exploding into an atmospheric drum and bass roll. The production is equally good on all fronts. “Rules of Darkroom,” produced by Gwillikaz, stomps with huge drums and a sick bagpipe loop. The especially wonderful “El Train” is layered with soundtracky drama loops, and the self-produced “Festival of Sacrilege” hits hard with stuttery drums and a cut-up, medieval lute (?) sample. Those are only a few of the highlights. Heavy and substantial while staying clever and nimble, The Darkroom is a satisfying hip-hop excursion that’s heavy on evocative thought-fodder and light on irony and pretention.
- DJ Verb
source: groundliftmag.com by DJ Verb; 1/10/06, added: Feb 02, 2006
released September 20, 2005
All lyrics written by Gilead7 for Alchemist's Pen Publishing (ASCAP), except for the guest appearances on 2. co-written with Listener, 12., co-written by Lord 360, 13., co-written by Malakh El, and 16, co-written by Evan G.
Track 1. produced by GWilikuz, Tracks 2, 5, and 7 produced by Deftone, Track 3 produced by Lyric Versatile, Track 4, produced by 5th Element, Track 6 produced by Thaione Davis, Track 8, produced by Ryan Officer, Track 9, 14, 15, and 16 produced by Gilead7, Track 10 composed and played by Dan Garrick, Track 11 produced by Dr. Strangelove, Track 12 produced by MAKER, and Track 13 produced by Two1.