Monday, July 14, 2014

Be Free by Cam Be + Josh Free

     Released earlier this July is the collaborative known as Be Free by former members of the band Untitled. Those former members are Cam Be and Josh Free, and the pair worked together as both emcees and producers to create a very unique hip-hop album that is the end result of the fusing of multiple genres into one. Be Free has a fairly strong list of features on the album from Grammy award winning poet, J.Ivy, to Jamla recording artist Add-2. This is a project that will likely go under-appreciated, however, it is still a project that has a lot to offer. 

     The production is the real mystery of the album. The mystery isn't deciding if the production is good or not, the mystery is trying to explain it in a way that will convey the message just right. 

     For the most part, the production is various styles of live instrumentation that blends blues, jazz, hip-hop, and even a small bit of rock into the sound to create a smooth, yet head-nod-inducing beat and rhythm. This sound is by no means something listeners will be accustom to, but fans of indie hip-hop, r&b, and genres similar to those should have no problem enjoying the music.

      Cam Be and Josh Free will really surprise listeners in their ability to create a thematic sound that carries throughout the duration of the album. While there is no music on the track that will blow anyone away, there are also no tracks that seem to drag the album down, and there is always something to be said for consistency. Another surprise listeners may get is when they find out where Cam and Josh are from. While the duo's indie hip-hop sound makes it seems as if they could be coming out of the DMV, these guys are actually from "Sweet Home" Chicago, and that may explain the blues elements that appear to be thrown into the mix of the overall vibe (Blues Brothers). 

     The high number of vocal features on the album didn't seem to dilute the finished product. In fact, most of the features brought a very smooth and soft vibe to the tracks, and that same mood can be felt throughout the listen. The best track on the record is "OK" which features Add-2 and Sam Trump. This specific track is extremely lyrical and tells a very soothing story, and the hook is so simple, but gives this track true replay value. This track has it's purpose, and "OK" serves as a reminder to listeners that everything will be OK, and that seems to be the tone for the entire album.

     Be Free isn't the strongest album listeners may come across, but take the time to truly listen to this project, and I'm sure you'll get something out of it. That being said, it wouldn't make much sense to pay for something with the word 'Free' on the front cover, so Cam and Josh have made this project available for free download. Definitely worth playing, and downloading! Check out Be Free and comment what you think!

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