Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Masspike Miles "Say Hello To Forever"

If you are not familiar with Masspike Miles and his smooth R&B then you're in for a special treat. You thought Maybach Music was all about rap and Rick Ross? Get familiar with Masspike Miles and press play on "Say Hello To Forever". The title track leads in with some sexy saxophone under the production from DJ Pain and Masspike slides right in to launch the project with an immediate top pick. Selecting just a few top picks from this album is difficult since the majority of the album is dope from top to bottom. I was eager to hear "Priceless" (produced by Roc & Mayne) to see how Raekwon would pull off rappin into a R&B "love" record, but Raekwon and Masspike Miles make a great combination and nailed the record. "Let You Go" has a throwback vibe that reminded me of a blend between Smokey Robinson and John Legend. I really liked the way Masspike didn't try to overpower the Xtreme Beatz production, but instead laid back and just floated along with it. Smooth. "Candy Store" continues with the fly vibe under the production of Roc & Mayne once again. I was diggin' "Love Come Down" (another Roc & Mayne production) until the chorus comes in and gets real loud with almost a soft rock sound similiar to old throwback Chicago or Journey albums. I'm not a big fan of that sound. "Imprefections" with Fred the Godson is definitely another top pick and possibly my favorite from the album. It's the first record that leads off with rap and Fred the Godson has such a dope voice that its a perfect boost to the energy of the entire project.

I need some help from all the DJs and producers that dig in the crates; please remind me where the breakbeat from "Shattered Picture" comes from? You've heard the beat a hundred times EASY, but I'm drawing a blank on the original artist and song. Regardless, "Shattered Picture" is definitely another top pick from the album. Props have to go out to Ikey Boy from the Inkk Well Studios for the mix and engineering which really stands out with the crisp drums and especially the snare of "Shattered Picture". The beat riding under "Hard Rain" is immediately recognizable as the classic Barry White "I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby" and even though the break has been sampled literally hundreds of times it's still dope. "Departed" has crossover appeal, but not my vibe so I had to just let that one ride. I like accoustic guitar usually, but I think that PM Dawn-style beat (especially the snare) just irritates me.

"Moonwalk" is surprisingly the first record with any real thump under it, thanks to the production from Cozmo. If you know classic Rose Royce you will immediately recognize the signature "Wishing on a Star" melody in "Moonwalk" and if you really dig in the crates you'll recognize the Peter Paul and Mary "Leaving on a Jet Plane" which was actually written by John Denver in 1966. Masspike does a nice job of twisting the words, but the originals can still be recognized. "Cover Me (I'm Going In)" is the only song from the album that is not written by Masspike, with the credits going to Real Smart Mouf/Tye Huntley.

If you're looking for the best single-potential record from the project I would have to say "Flatline" featuring Wiz Khalifa is that record. It's up-tempo enough to get some spin and has a edgier street flavor. Of course bringing in Wiz Khalifa will always help to boost any record, but even without Wiz "Flatline" has single (specifically radio) potential.

An interesting side note on "Say Hello To Forever" revolves around the artwork. I hit Masspike Miles on twitter asking about the significance or symbolism of the artwork and he shot out a link to Saint Cecilia, the patroness of musicians. After reading about Saint Cecilia and her martyrdom I am even more impressed with the efforts Masspike Miles put into this album.

Get connected with Masspike Miles on twitter @MasspikeMiles and be sure to visit masspikemiles.com.

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