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Qwel and Kip Killagain

The New Wine | Galapagos 4
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  June 3, 2008
3.5 3.5 Stars
Last year at Great Scott, Qwel told the crowd, “I might look like a lumberjack, but I’m raw as fuck.” He wasn’t joking. Not only does he have that Midwestern Ewok look, but the Chicago rhyme icon is also the most linguistically developed cat in modern hip-hop. For this “spring” installment in his seasonal series — which has given us his exceptional Freezer Burner with producer Meaty Ogre and Harvest with beatsmith Maker — he relies on jungle DJ Kip Killagain’s epicurean, organic tapestries. Always one to see the forest and the trees, Qwel lassoes his masterfully orchestrated and intricately phonetic stream of consciousness around everything from existentialism to Christianity and contemporary rap trends. It will take months for dedicated Qwel fans to digest The New Wine; the allegorical value of “Big Eyes” and “Brainwashing” is so vast that interpretive possibilities seem endless. But with zero phoniness and even less filler, Qwel’s every word is worth analysis, and since he rides on serious but chummy production, it’s feasible to bump repeatedly until you choose your own adventure.
  Topics: CD Reviews , Entertainment , Hip-Hop and Rap , Music
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