Whenever good hip-hop music passes by, it is hard not to compare it to Bend's own Person People. With members including Mike Fish, KP, MOsley WOtta, Mez, Sorski and Adam Bomb, they were one of the most explosive hip-hop collaborations far and wide. Several years after their untimely breakup, Fish is back with a new crew known as Smooth Beast.
Fish is now coming out of Oakland, where he met MC Karen Less and clicked right off the bat. Fish says, "We started frequenting a hip-hop night in San Francisco called Return Of The Cypher (R.O.T.C.) where MCs can get on the mic and do their thing with the Gem Stone Band and DJ Kevvy Kev on the ones and twos. There we met The Monolyth and Gigio over a respect for skills, genuine eye-to-eye conversation and a good life outlook."
Thus, Smooth Beast was born and its self-titled debut album is about to drop like a pretty fat baby. The record is great, with the entire crew having distinct flows, writing styles and voices that give the record an unpredictable and exciting sound. Fish's production and the boom bap beats are simultaneously tightly wound and relaxed, never drawing focus from the four MCs and their words.
Karen Less is an absolute dynamo, completely staking her claim on every single word she spits. As great as MFish, The Monolyth and Gigio are (and they are absolutely superb storytellers), Less is a huge find. Some modern MCs end up with a sound more akin to spoken word poetry over hip-hop beats, whereas Less' poetry is hip-hop in every way.
Tracks such as "Forever Funky," "Already Know" and "No More Heaters" are instant ear worms, with the whole album an easy choice for regular rotation. Smooth Beast's sound instantly differentiates itself.
Gigio, Mike Fish, Karen Less and The Monolyth
New album "Smooth Beast" coming out in 2016.