Its undeniable that much of todays urban music has been, in one way or another, influenced by the electronic dance aesthetic thats dominated the European club scene for nearly a decade and a half. While this has made for some great, even classic, tunes, at times one yearns for the vibe of days past yet with a present-day twist to it. Thankfully, Fools Gold by Denver-bred, Brooklyn-based MC Solomon Words is steeped in just enough in nostalgia while remaining firmly footed in the twenty-first century.
Fools Gold is very much a throwback to the late 90s, the sample heavy era of jiggy rap as dominated by the likes of Puffy and Trackmasters. That is not at all a bad thing. In fact, thats what makes the project so endearing. The production style of knob-turner Tut Piece (who created seven of the album’s eight tracks) has a familiar sound, but theres something very contemporary about it: the attitude, the swing, the feel of it all. You hear it in songs like the super sexy All Night, featuring hook crooner J. Carey, or the dance floor jam Party Arty featuring DK aka Wayne Watts. Both tracks scream for scenes of club hopping, bottle popping, and model watching as directed by Little X.
Everyones heard the slow groove of A Song for Her before it uses the same Rene & Angela sample as Jay-Zs Imaginary Player. But the sample is flipped in a unique, rather ingenious way, and any comparisons are immediately dismissed. Another creatively produced joint is the celebratory Classy Event, which makes good use of Cloud Ones Dust to Dust.
Producer Trey Hemingway provides Young Palabras with a grimy gem in Succa Nigga, which, yes, does reference the similarly named Tribe classic. Its a head-nodder, for sure, a neck-snapper of the highest order, and the perfect sound bed for Solomon to lay into the opposition and remind everyone that, despite his affable, genial nature, he is not one to be trifled with.
In addition to having dope production, thebrings to the fore Words strong, commanding, and uncomplicated flow. He enunciates with clarity, his rhymes easily understandable, and its rare that hes unable to ride any given beat. And while Solomon doesnt lyrically stray too far from the usual topics (women, weed, good times, etc.), he possesses a charismatic magnetism that keeps the listener engaged.
At just thirty minutes, Fools Gold is a quick jab, a brief reminder of what dope hip-hop used to sound like. Its enough to make anyone anticipate the next set of songs from Solomon.
- “All Night” (featuring J. Carey)
- “Classy Event”
- “Succa Nigga”