Monday, July 04, 2005

That Other Dude: Vordul Mega

I was out digging for music at one of my favourite shops a few days ago. I was mostly looking for vinyl, but decided to look at what was available in the used CD section. I found "The Revolution Of Yung Havoks" by Vordul Mega of Cannibal Ox fame on the Nature Sounds imprint. Being a fan of Cannibal Ox and Vast Aire I decided to check this album out. This album wasn't on my "to get" list at all, but since it was used I figured, "what the heck," and bought it anyway. Vordul was "the other guy" in Cannibal Ox. His partner Vast Aire is who really drew me into the group. I liked his gruff voice, intelligent poetic lyrics, and his flow. Vordul was tight but he just didn't have the same spark, so this is something that I wouldn't have checked out if it was brand new. I really wasn't expecting anything dope on it.

The store I frequent allows auditioning of all CD's and all used vinyl. I had a listen to the CD and what I liked initially was the beats, and the consistency of production throughout. I bought the album really on the strength of that. The album is produced mainly by a bunch of unknowns: Belief, Rudy Rock, Opto, Soul Purpose, Dev 1, Block Head, and Omega One. Surprisingly, with such a long list of producers you wouldn't expect the album to be very cohesive. However, it's cohesiveness is it's biggest strength.

All the tracks are hard, aggressive NYC style beats. They are Raw. There is no polish on these, or anything to make 'em sound like they would ever get played on the radio. Most of the beats are dark, grimey and moody. This suits the subject matter of the album. The main topic at hand seems to be hood struggles. Every song and every lyric, just about, is brim full with tales and emotions from the gutter life. This is not a pretty picture. There's no club jams, or feel good songs here. Just stark reality.

I really get the sense that Vordul is an "everyman." He's just a regular cat like you and I expressing himself and what he sees. He is not a superstar rhymer in the least. In fact, his flow is quite monotone, and boring at times, which is the biggest drawback to the album. Don't get me wrong, this is a solid effort and definitely worth checking out if you like gritty, raw, hard, Hip Hop. The depressing subject matter and tone is a lil much at times though. Some less dark tracks thrown here and there would have made this album a bit more enjoyable and a more interesting listen, as well we could've seen another side of Vordul. The guest spots on it do help liven things up. C Rayz Walz, Jean Grae, and Vast Aire all make appearances.

After hearing this solo effort, and the solo efforts of Vast Aire, one thing strikes me. Even though Vast Aire was the MC that really brought Cannibal Ox shine, really these two together are a great pair. They both sound lacking on their own. Neither Vast nor Vordul have quite been able to have the same spark alone that they have together. They have been doing quality solo work, and it's all been fairly consistent, but it's been nothing truly special. These two dudes really need to get back together for another Cannibal Ox album.

Below I'm including some MP3's from the album for you to check out. Also, be sure to check out our on-line store . We have some dope items for sale.

Vordul Mega - Spitamatic (feat. C Rayz Walz)

Vordul Mega - In The Hood (feat. Karnage)
Vordul Mega - Handle That (feat. Vast Aire)