Growing up in central Wisconsin, I have seen and heard
my fair share of local attempts at hip-hop. For the most part the attempts at
the genre of hip-hop fall short. If I can be brutally honest, most local
attempts at hip-hop in central Wisconsin are down right embarrassing and I
literally cringe with how uncomfortable I get with the idea of it. That being
said I’m always prepared for surprises and I am utterly bewildered with
Milwaukee native and UWSP student Emmitt James and his upcoming EP, Until I’m A
Renowned around Wisconsin as a spoken word poet James
is a quiet young man that looks as though he walked right out of an H&M catalog.
If you are a frequent visitor of the Dreyfus University Center’s Basement
Brewhaus, you probably know exactly whom I am speaking of. Despite his love for
the spoken word, James is taking his skills and meshing them superbly with the
music that is hip-hop.
With beats that echo a soulful past of the groovy 1970s
the sound album immediately grabbed my attention. Soul and R&B of the 70s
have always been a guilty pleasure of mine.
Lyrically speaking Until I’m A Dead Poet is humbly
confident and exceedingly conceptual. The piece as a whole embraces the
struggles of growing up, chasing dreams, family, faith and even immigration
To emphasize I would like to bring attention to the
song entitled “Little Things,” where James analyzes the importance making his
passion for music a career not only for himself but for his family as well.
In “The Desire,” James confidently explores the
challenges within chasing one’s dreams. Overall the song is delightfully
I can boldly say that Until I’m A Dead Poet, in
completion is the premier hip-hop release in the state of Wisconsin for the
year 2012. In the words of the legendary poet Gil Scott- Heron this album is
“deep.” The EP officially releases Dec. 15 and on Dec. 14 James will be kicking
off the EP by performing in the Liard room of the DUC at 4 p.m.