Though hip-hop has mutated and (arguably) evolved considerably over the last 20 years or so, the inner-city conditions that inspired many of the genre’s legends remain largely unchanged to this day. On the first single off his latest Hood Politics mixtape, reader-acclaimed emcee Termanology hops in his Time Machine to revisit a classic track that’s no less relevant today than it was back in 1990. Inspired by In The Ghetto, a cut off Eric B and Rakim‘s Let the Rhythm Hit ‘Em LP, Nobody’s Smilin’ finds Term reporting on the violence and poverty that those in the streets have to deal with on the daily, bringing his new-school (but old school-informed) lyricism to bear on a beat subtly updated from Eric B’s original. Statik Selektah‘s production features a punchier percussion rhythm, revamped instrumentation, and some extra vocals on the hook, but the beatsmith leaves the central concept largely unchanged—and for good reason: it’s damned hard to improve on a classic. Fans digging this era-bridging underground jam are sure to find more to their liking on Time Machine (Hood Politics VI), set to drop September 29th.
Written by richard on 07/22/09
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First DJ Booth Appearance:
"50 Bodies" (2007)
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