In the final years of the last millenium, two native New Yorkers added a page to Chicago's hip hop history with the advent of the WHPK Wednesday Night Rap Show. Although short-lived and never formally christened, the Show had heads from Roosevelt to the Hundreds stuck on 88.5 FM midweek. In the show's aftermath, from the ashes of countless vinyl crates and echoes of chaotic show-closing freestyle sessions, Typical Cats was born.
Featuring MCs Qwazaar, Qwel and Denizen Kane, producer/dj Natural and media assassin Kid Knish, Typical dropped a self-titled full-length on Galapagos4 Records and began a relentless campaign to restore a fallen hip hop world to its former promise and glory. The talent assembled was unmistakable, the sound created was formidable. Firmly planted in tradition, unorthodox in invention and possessed of a strength only earned in the furnace of experience, their Sound is the Future that hip hop's Past would have had if its Present weren't held hostage by the uninspired and unrepentant. A flurry of solo projects later, Chicago's prodigal sons return.
Tuck Your Pride In 'Cause All Lyrics Connect At The Soul. And it's on and it's on and it's on.
QWAZAAR - A native of Chicago's gritty Low End, Qwazaar strikes from hip hop's essence. Whether the subject matter is inner city or interplanetary, the flow remains untouchable - a percussive yet fluid attack that evokes South Side rain and helicopter blades in a single breath. The content is heavy- "After the dust settles, witness the blood puddles..." Lights out, kids. The Q-W-A is here.
QWEL - You first seen his name dangling a quarter mile up on a suspension bridge from your scratch-bombed window on the Orange line. You first heard that distinctive melodic/abrasive storm of syllables on old Nacro and Scam Artist tapes with inserts printed at the Kinko's. Now the heat's been perfected-and this nasty North Side revelation music rebel is out to wake the sleepers. From Ted Turner's devil ass to the so-called competition-everyone and their mama gets dealt with when the kid laces up his boots.
DENIZEN KANE - From the rum and coke rumble of Chicago's North Side flow spots to the celluloid veneer of Def Poetry Jam's main stage, Denizen Kane rips the party with a poet's heart and an outsider's eye. Journalistic, impressionistic, real-life and drastic, young Kane's late night Red Line revelations turn into heathen hymns on tape, capturing the moody face of the metropolis in color. How long can a lost one roam until he finds his way home? Listen to your city fall apart through the muddy mouth of an immigrant.