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The Sole Vibe Website: http://www.thesolevibe.com
The Sole Vibe Bandcamp: http://thesolevibe.bandcamp.com
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The Sole Vibe delivers the perfect mixtape for the title of “One To Grow On” because with so many MCs it’s definitely something you gotta take in a few times to really get the feel of everyone involved, and the result is a nice collection of material from a multitude of talent. With flowing production and a variety of styles you get a full plate consisting of everything from west coast vibes, to rapid-fast southern deliveries to straight up boom bap hip hop. Everyone will have a joint on here and they will all vary but you’ll definitely come away with some knowledge in all the sub-genres of hip hop.
After an impressive build-up the first track kicks in as AV unleashes a verse about being “Self Centered” but it comes off, over an amazing beat, as more of a reflection, lacking any of the arrogance that would turn a listener off. This flows perfectly into “Ring To It” from Mario Dones which boasts another incredible beat while Mario’s flow is straight bananas. Even though the production is definitely straight 2010, it got an old school feel to it that along with a dope hook really pushes it to highlight status. Up next is “Work” with a down tempo beat but with back and forth rapid fire rhymes from AV and Slo-Mo. The heat don’t stop as “What More Could You Want” got a memorable chanting hook with some classic samples on the beat and once again Mario Dones does his thing along with Kam Moye. “Pastries” is yet another one from Mario Dones who continues to prove that he’s definitely one of the better MCs in this deep roster as he goes in over a beat that’s rather strange but definitely works. “The Quiet” is a smoothed out head nodder that AV easily rides over while dropping metaphors and punchlines for days. The “Sole Vibe Interlude” has the feel of those Guru/Jeru/Lil Dap tracks on Gang Starr albums, with a different beat for each MC, all solid verses over solid production. “Slow Motion” is more of that boom bap soulful shit from Mario Dones that is perfect for them lazy afternoons.
As far as sleepers, “Bob Knight” got a pretty funny hook, but it’s only good once, and the rest of the track isn’t all that amazing. “Miss Jane” also drag a little bit, with a nice sample for the hook but a beat that’s too busy during the verses. The album also takes a huge dip towards the end, as tracks like “Reflections” and “Last Day of Summer” get skipped upon multiple listens, but by this point each artist has already proved they got the talent to quality songs.
For a mixtape with so many different artists “One To Grow On” really flows well, and the strengths of all MCs are highlighted in various forms, especially over the production from Keelay and Zaire, who are the shining beatmakers on this album. The Sole Vibe definitely got artists from many different influences but they all come together nicely for this project, each bringing their own style of hip hop to the mix. If you’re looking for a nice variety of hip hop from a diverse group of artists, then The Sole Vibe’s “One To Grow On” is definitely worth checking out, this crew definitely got a lot of potential and I’ll be looking forward to more material from them. 3/5
The Sole Vibe collective has prepared its first official release since Keelay & Zaire showcased the squad with their 2009 production compilation, Ridin’ High [Myx Music]. The project was an introduction for many to The Sole Vibe.
With One to Grow On the attention focuses on Pittsburgh based emcees, Mario Dones and AV, as they prepare their respective solo efforts. Tracks also feature Kam Moye and Sole Vibe emcees, Slo-Mo [Fortilive] and E. Jenkins, who with AV and producer J. Fish make up The Ave.
“We sat down before we even named the project and wanted to stick to everything it meant to us when it first started,” said AV of combining his solo tracks with Ave songs and Mario’s material. “Everyone is unfazed by the confusion that comes with being part of a larger collective, while keeping individual goals intact.”
“We’ve never wanted people to mistake us for a group,” says Dones “But that’s what people were doing. They would see us out performing together, promoting the same projects and the same brand, so they used the power of assumption.”
Initially trying to fight against that notion as they prepare solo projects, both AV and Dones realized their movement could not be denied. One To Grow On is a cohesive collection, keeping the Sole Vibe signature sound within the family, featuring production from Kee & Zee, J. Fish and DJ Whooligan as well as newcomers, Lazy J, P. Fish and Nice Rec.
OTGO is a statement of what has been obvious for many who have followed The Sole Vibe to this point, as well as those who this will serve as an introduction for.
This is Ace. This is Dones. Sole Vibe is what we rep, and here’s what we’re both working on.
Expect a digital release of One To Grow On on September 17th, with video for the project’s two opening tracks, “Self Centered” & the single “Ring to It”, soon to come.
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