By Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment
Release: May 28, 20115
Surf is an album that my brother introduced me to. It was free on iTunes, so he downloaded it and it appeared on my iPod one day. I gave it a listen and immediately noticed that this album was special.
Unlike other rap albums that utilize computer generated beats, this album used real instruments. The solo trumpet used throughout the album gives the songs an almost soul feel. The way that the trumpet often has its own counter melody adds so much to the sound. The musicality alone makes this album stand out from its contemporaries so eloquently that a composer would appreciate it.
The other noticeable thing about Surf is how the rapping doesn’t always line up perfectly with the beat, which makes for a really cool sound. Many of the artists have a fluidity to their rapping that is unique from what you would normally hear. The way that the rhythm changes throughout makes the verses even more engaging.
The album features a long list of accomplished artists, including B.O.B, Busta Rhymes, J. Cole, Big Sean Janelle Monae, and Erykah Badu. All of these artists coming together for this album was really special. Each of them add their own color and style to the music.
The rapping breaks away from an emphasis on “catchiness”. The verses have a spoken word feel. The words are chosen intentionally to tell a story, while pulling from the imagery and rhyming of poetry. Lines like “You don’t know me like the sun, you’ve never seen my horizon”, “Good things come to those that wait”, and “I just can’t stay cool, I don’t want to be cool” show the positive vibe of the album.
Infrequently does an album come along that breaks out of the box of its genre,but that is what Surf does. Surf is a work of art. It mixes the poeticism of rap with the beauty of instruments. It’s an album that everyone should listen to at least once, because it shows the wide amount of capabilities that rap has. A diamond hidden beneath the millions of songs iTunes has to offer, Surf is a free treasure that anyone would enjoy.