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Psalm One: The Death of the Frequent Flyer


Psalm One: The Death of the Frequent Flyer

Label:Rhymesayers
Format:Album
Media:CD
Release Date:2006
Genre:Hip Hop/Rap

Psalm One plays Sonar Oct. 15 with Del tha Funkee Homosapien and Relm.

By Raymond Cummings | Posted 10/11/2006

"Rapper Girls," the fourth track on the The Death of the Frequent Flyer, is inviting enough at first. As Madd Crates’ pixie-dust, strings-and-keys boudoir production glistens behind her, Cristalle "Psalm One" Bowen dedicates the track to "all the ambitious young ladies out there . . . who’ve got an inkling for the spoken word and its many treasures." Then the Chicago ex-chemist/ femcee raises her dukes to deliver a rope-a-dope: "Go get your hair done, miss/ Go get a pedicure, bitch/ Go watch Lifetime, get inspired by strong women/ Put the mic down, you really got no chance/ So hang the rapping up, go home, and practice your pole dance."

The rhymes don’t exactly leap off the page, but Psalm One has the air of T.I. or Jay-Z’s hyper-casual, indisputable invincibility. And her effortlessly acrobatic flow pervades The Death of Frequent Flyer’s speakeasy grooves like a high-end perfume. Like pop auteur Missy Elliott, she’s hot and knows it; like the underappreciated Jean Grae, she’s aware that her surest path to critical acclaim is lined with the unglamorous details of day-to-day living.

So the MCs-as-sexpots smackdowns such as "Rapper Girls" and the gymnastic, flamboyant A&R lures such as "Rap Star" are the genre sizzle supplementing Psalm One’s actual sirloin. Over primary Flyer beatsmith Overflo’s slobbering barnyard harmonica bray, she breaks down a hellish workday at the lab and subsequent night on the mic on "The Living": "Opening act rocked with the baby bottle/ I see right through kids with the safety goggles/ Sweatpants holey from the hydrochloric/ I smell like chemicals and try to ignore it/ They don’t know the words but they like the chorus/ And my back hurts from working but I hide the soreness." If there’s any justice, her easy confidence will earn her notice beyond the limited realm of rap critics’ boomboxes.

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