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review // redcloud // traveling circus // syntax records

Finally... after debuting on the Fashion Expo Round One: Tru Hip-Hop compilation project three years ago, and following up with the solo debut of Is This Thing On?, Syntax Records Recording artist RedCloud has satisfied with his sophomore release in Traveling Circus. Featuring guest spots from Braille of Lightheaded, Kaitlyn Cassels of Sackcloth Fashion and Sherwin Gardner, among others. The LP is produced almost entirely by Syntax head man SirROCDOMZ.


The LP begins with the title track, in which RedCloud drops three random verses in company with a hook saying nothing courtesy of Sam Hart. It's an impressionable track, but for the lead off cut it felt out of place. Sackcloth Fashion's Kaityln Cassels lends her vocal talents on My Way, featuring acoustic strings and piano harmonies over life stories and convictions from the emcee, making a memorable cut. SirROC brings his trademark synth sounds on Don't Wear It Out, accompanied by thick piano chords and a smooth bassline RedCloud begs the question... "who's the illest of the illest that you feelin' now?... RedCloud homie, that's my name don't wear it out." Sherwin Gardner and Christafari lend a hand on Neva Letcha Go. This is a fresh change from the overall sound of the LP, with hand claps, shakers and drums all over the tracks soothing vocals. RedCloud lets out some frustration on Chit Chat stating... "were tired of your chit chat, wack rappers need to get slapped," over a mellowed vocal sample with kicks and snares, making for a nice listen. SirROC lends another well crafted track in War Party. Accompanied by fresh cuts, RedCloud asks listeners... "war, what is it good for?" Broken Jaw combines Braille and RedCloud coming correct and hard nosed over a track with a raw message in "times are desperate, we can't hold back, we must strike mics, He holds them in attack, to live out what we say or get out the game, cause without conviction all these verses are lame... times are desperate, times running out but we gon' speak truth even with your gun in our mouth." A serious message, and solid verses from both of the emcees, making for one of the most complete and fulfilling tracks on the LP.


Traveling Circus is an honest effort from the indigenous emcee RedCloud. The production gets a little repetetive after numerous listens, and you can usually tell without looking at the credits if it's a SirROC beat or not. Traveling Circus offers a wide variety of entertaining musical tastes and flows and at times you may grow tired of RedClouds repetetive vocal patterns but that doesn't take away from the quality of his sophomore release. Traveling Circus, is a creative and refreshing serving from one of the most respected emcees in the hip-hop community.

Suggested Listening: Dirt, Lightheaded, Sackcloth Fashion


Key Tracks: Broken Jaw (feat. Braille of Lightheaded), My Way (feat. Kaitlyn Cassels of Sackcloth Fashion), Neva Letcha Go (feat. Sherwin Gardner & Christafari)


Review Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5


Reviewer: RationaL


Used with permission from www.HipHopForTheSoul.com


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