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Respect Is Earned, Not Given

Artist: Tone Chop & Frost Gamble

Label: Seven 13 Music and Entertainment.

By Andrew Kay | 23 August 2017
Tone Chop and Frost Gamble are getting a reputation for strong lyrical content, confident flows and boom-bap head-nodding beats from the Golden Era, updated for a 2017 sensibility.

This is their first album after the blistering "Veteran" EP. That taster showcased the talent these two cats have; how their chemistry works in tandem, whilst both artists able to stay clear and apart in their own lanes, coming together for a main course roast beef and vegetable platter that stands out from the crowd thanks to Tone Chop’s unique rhyme delivery and Frost’s highly-crafted beats.

“Walk The Walk” Feat. Kool G Rap starts things off well. A chuggy beat gives Tone Chop space to flow breezily. Kool G Rap adds O.G advocacy and Golden Era nostalgia lending a hand to proceedings, but being careful not to outshine Tone’s lyrical ability.

“Bing Stories” has that raspy, bouncy and repetitious piano foundation with Tone spilling out a harsh, criminal narrative on these here mean streets.

“Passion” is a call to arms to succeed over a 80s-type production that recalls funky and creative nights and a good way to have - as a general rule of thumb in any sphere of life - to fulfill potential.

Rapper DNA rhymes with bitter-sweet reminiscences as to the traditional standards for success on “In The Streets”; A mixture of raw talent, persistence and luck gets you a place at the crowded table. It’s the essence of the MC.

“Get Beat Down” starts off with some dramatic trumpets and a classic BDP sample as the drums take you on a sinister journey of destiny leading to violence.

“it’s Hip-Hop” is the storyville  sequel to “In the Streets”, another vivid illustration of the MC at street level, paying dues. Love the honesty with the rhymes.

“Guillotine Chop” features White Rhino and Planet Asia and a schumply drawl of a drum beat and defeated whistles, like Clint Eastwood in a Western. The lyrics complement the lazy lack of anything really going on.

“Slow Flow Remarkable” featuring DJ Waxamillion on boasting rhyme duty, helped by a cut up Biggie Smalls sample, shows the hardcore element of hip-hop isn’t dead, as sirens and raspy sound effects conjure up another night of hyper masculinity and possible violence.

“Word Struggle” – has that dramatic snare punctuation with some tough lyrics about survival and hardship. It has that deep bassline that thuds speakers at crucial times.

“Inspiration” rocks with a melodic piano and 80s-style electronic guitar; some very positive and heartfelt lyrics throughout - like a conversation with a nurturing friend.

“Beat Knocking” is undiluted Boom-Bap updated as an antidote for Mumble Rap. The purposeful guitar foundation stubbornly crowds the drums, but it’s a nice combo. Tone sounds tight on this.

Tragedy Khadafi comes correct on “Here I Go” using the Jean Plum sample of the same name, (Mobb Deep used it on “Win or Lose”). A lovely traditional mixture of 1990s-style hip-hop, seductive sampling and a smooth-arsed beat is three and half minutes of hip-hop gold.

See You Again harks back to 70s Blaxplotation flicks, with dramatic strings, and laments about a deceased ex-lover and friend and epic snares and stabs. It shows Tone Chop's range in how he conjures up compelling stories, which are probably autobiographical in nature.

“Respect is Earned, Not Given” is a very solid piece of classic, sincere and genuine old-school style and fashion hip-hop. It difficult to say what kind of hip-hop it is, as it’s got one foot in the past and one in the present and future. As there’s still a fairly solid audience for those who remember the past and who aren’t feeling the mainstream that passes itself for hip-hop these days, Tone Chop and Frost Gamble belong to a bunch of rappers and producers that want to continue hip-hop’s traditions. They have an understanding of its history and a respect for it. You can tell in the finely-crafted rhymes and funky production. There’s a lot to admire and enjoy on this album and real Headz will bask in the nostalgia and smile comforted by feelings of the past and hope for the future.

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