Umi Hymn Hymn – 88 Template [Review]
Langley, B.C. – Fiending for hip-hop's days of old, to back before consciousness, gangsterism, backpacking and coastal rivalries birthed what we now call new school? No need to take a trip in the old way back machine – and with today's skyrocketing price of plutonium who can really afford to – all you need is Ummi Hymn Hymn's 88 Template. Dude takes it back, way back…any further and Clinton and Bambaatta would've had to make room.
88 Template is just as its title suggests: straight-up and straightforward. Sometimes simple and basic is the best recipe when you're cooking with the right ingredients and Ummi Hymn Hymn's reserved but precise style fits that mold perfectly. These tasty cookie cutter tracks stick pretty strictly to the aforementioned template, with ill beats and dope cuts of classic old school vets making up the majority of the hooks. With songs like “Full Time” and “Skills To Compete” there's no question that this MC takes his craft seriously. Dedication, discipline and intelligence are recurring themes, and for good reason: 88 Template could be listened to in between Rakim and Gangstarr without missing a beat, literally. From the pop and crackle of authentic vinyl to the surprisingly slow bpm count on most tracks, like “Dynamic” and “The Now,” Ummi is at ease spitting over the most chilled out of chill beats.
The production value alone will make you reminisce about hip-hop from decades past: the vibe of the samples, their minimalism, and just how precisely they're online casinos balanced with the right amount of high, mids and lows is a breath of fresh air in this age of overproduction. This mastery of subtlety is complimented well with Ummi's content, like “B.H.H.B.”(Bring Hip Hop Back) and “Write On,” both simple and sincere messages delivered over the perfect backdrop.
Ummi hits the mark with this release and takes the listener back to a time that this MC clearly misses. And he does one hell of a job bringing this sound back. Any new school rapper (whatever that means) could learn a thing or two from this album. And any hip-hop head who is unhappy with the sound of modern hip-hop and yearns for the vibes of a simpler, and better time has to look no further than Ummi Hymn Hymn's 88 Template. Break out the rope chains and old Adidas shelltoes, 88 is back! Word.
Written by Jesse Furnell for HipHopCanada
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