VIDEO: “Can’t Look Back” – J. Bre (dir. by Atuanya Priester)

J. Bre epitomizes no-frills hip-hop, and that’s a refreshing thing in today’s market which is awash in over-dubs, over-production, and over-saturation. “Can’t Look Back” is the MC’s latest song and video. Go here to download it.

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VIDEO: “Memories” – J. Bre (feat. Luck-One & Grynch)

John Harry Baluran of Detooz Films directs his best video yet for the homies J. Bre, Luck-One and Grynch. “Memories” takes a simple concept (T.R.O.Y.) and draws out a wealth of emotions with poignant images related to hip-hop, social issues and pop culture. One of the best Town videos of the year.

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DOWNLOAD & REVIEW: The Broken Time Machine – Carl Roe

Click album cover to D/L.

MC Carl Roe is an interesting entrant to the Seattle rap scene. A native of Elgin, Illinois, a conflicted youth in the Midwest followed by an enlistment and tour of duty in Iraq as a U.S. Army Infantryman is the path Roe followed before his arrival in Seattle, where he is now a hopeful and hustling artist in the local hip-hop scene.

206UP.COM became familiar with Roe back in January in the second edition of The TrackMeet (click here for that post). His winning entry, “Lock it Down, Sew it Up,” was a frantic double-time composition paired with boasts by the MC of his superior rap skills. After getting past the beat, which had a fairly dated feel, a hungry rapper with a very natural flow and knack for maneuvering complicated rhyme patterns was revealed.

The Broken Time Machine is Carl Roe’s official entry into the Seattle hip-hop landscape. It’s eight tracks long and has an old-school feel, with big beats and breaks, a few overwrought rock flourishes and Roe’s signature double-time. “Stuntman” (the previously-released single featuring J. Bre, another up-and-coming Town MC) is the best track, a commanding declaration of the two rapper’s dominance over their lesser competition, or “stuntmen” as they call them.

“The voice of the Army Infantry in hip-hop,” as Roe claims in his bio, his stint in the Army informs the lyrical foundation of TBTM. Deeply affected by his Iraq war experience, the MC is unashamed of allowing his music to act as an outlet for his anguish, especially on the emotive “We Own the Night” which has an Evanescence-like quality (for better or worse).

It’s a safe bet Carl Roe’s style will not resonate with everyone. His flow and beat choice operate at-odds with contemporary hip-hop, and of course there will be the requisite criticisms centered around his skin color. No matter. What Seattle has in this artist is an MC focused intently on the craft and how his particular life experience fits in to it. In hip-hop, that’s all you can really ask for.

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DOWNLOAD: The Revelation EP – J. Bre

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The Revelation EP is J. Bre’s follow-up to 2010’s Street Signs. J’s straight-forward no-nonsense approach to rhyming was the best part of Signs, but also the MC’s greatest handicap when it came to finding relevance inside a genre populated by novelty lyricists and throwaway punchline flows. On Revelation the rapper finds comfortable middle ground, diversifying his cadence but not losing the authentic steez that separates him from the fakes. Notable guest appearances here include Carl Roe, Grynch, Luck-One, and Justis. Available for the price of three clicks above and below.

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DOWNLOAD: “Stunt Man” – J. Bre (feat. Carl Roe)

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New joint from J. Bre, dude with the expert throwback flow as displayed on 2010’s Street Signs. He has a new EP dropping in late July, so watch for that. Former TrackMeet contestant Carl Roe shows up on “Stunt Man” to lend his fast rap expertise, too.

“Stunt Man” – J. Bre (feat. Carl Roe)

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DOWNLOAD: Street Signs – J. Bre

J. Bre is an old school rhymer in the truest sense of the term. His straight-forward, no-frills style sounds both familiar and oddly refreshing in a current rap world consisting of punchline flows and half rapped/half sung hooks.

Bre’s latest full-length, Street Signs, is available for free download (click the album cover below). In addition to the emcee’s unwavering positivity, highlights include an appearance by Grynch (on “All Around The World,” streaming below) and Havoc (yes, that one), of Mobb Deep.

Click image for D/L link.

Click here to listen to “All Around The World” by J. Bre f/Grynch. Click here to download the track.

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