E Major: Majority Rules
Despite its many puns on "major," independence pervades Majority Rules. E Major's album--available on CD and free download on his MySpace--succeeds because it's an uncompromised 17-track drive through the rapper's life. This is more than enough, now that even your favorite rapper's favorite rapper drops a major-label mess of crossover attempts and corporate accord.
Early tracks invoke everyman realities, such as tension between paying rent and pursuing a dream: "I hope you're listenin', y'all, because if not/ it's back to 40 hours a week punching the clock" (from "Magnificent Pt. 0"). "Next Episode" charts an adolescence bouncing between Baltimore and California, and tosses in some wistful rap-nerd references--"me and my homies recited lines from Black Moon"--atop taut boom-bap by DJ Face with scratches from BMore Original's DJ Excel. E further explores the porous borders of Baltimore club and traditional hip-hop on "How You Wanna Carry It," a song that grabs its hook from Miss Tony's classic "What's Up What's Up".
As the album moves along, E Major perseveres, so when the Excel-produced "Don't Worry"--the "I'm finally making it" song--explodes, it's earned. The rewards are there, but they're simple stuff like Nike Dunks only available in Japan, and the joy is still tempered by a final verse for a friend who passed before E's rap shit kinda popped off. It has what every track on Majority Rules has: a proper mix of swagger and sincerity--as E says on "A Fresh Start," "present my sentiment without being too sentimental"--atop remarkably consistent soul beats.
For more information visit www.myspace.com/emajorthegener..