The Impossebulls (SLAMjamz Records Catalog) - Everything Has Changed; Nothing Is Different
Download the album for free in multiple digital formats (FLAC, MP3 & OGG) at blocSonic
Back in the early noughts, Public Enemy’s Chuck D formed the world’s first virtual rap squad called The Impossebulls from a group of talented fans who frequented PE’s online forum, the Enemy Board. In 2004, the Bulls released their sophomore album, “Slave Education”, to retail via Chuck D’s SLAMjamz Records. In partnership with SLAMjamz, blocSonic recently re-released this under-appreciated album in our special Xtended Edition deluxe format with a second disc packed with bonus content. Since 2004, they’ve released various EPs, singles and compilations, but they have not released a full-length album of all new material since. That is, not until today!
blocSonic is very happy to be able to present to you, in conjunction with SLAMjamz, The Impossebulls’ incredible new album, Everything Has Changed; Nothing Is Different. From the beginning, they’ve been unapologetically sticking with that classic 90s hip-hop vibe… giving heads music that harkens back to an era that made the boom and the bap central. This new album is no different. However there is a difference. The difference lies in how well it captures the spirit of that era more so than any of their previous albums have. Listening to this album, it’s clear that these guys have grown up and have been making hip-hop for so long now that their skills have been honed to a polish.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that they’ve had help from an incredible array of talented artists on this album! Most noteworthy (simply because of the important part they played in the history of this little thing called hip-hop) are Chuck D, DMC (Run-DMC) & Son of Bazerk and No Self Control! That isn’t it though… there’s DJ Lord and Brother Mike Williams of Public Enemy. There’s blocSonic artists CM aka Creative and cheese. Last, but surely not least, there’s also Sekreto & Cabelleros Del Plan G, Villain151, Boooka, Belle McNulty (who you may remember hearing on netBloc Vol. 44: Break From The System That Gotcha), and Tah Phrum Duh Bush who all play such important roles in making this album so memorable!
A very special thanks to The Impossebulls and all the incredible talents who made this album happen! I salute you.
Of course, thanks once again to you for downloading & listening. We always strive to deliver the music you’ll love. Please spread the word about blocSonic, if you enjoy what we do. Remember… everything we release is cool to share! Always keep the music moving… share it… blog it… podcast it! If you’re in radio… support independent music and broadcast it!.
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The Impossebulls: Everything Has Changed; Nothing Is Different Album Review
By: Andy Carrington
Public Enemy-championed hip-hop collective The Impossebulls released their third album back in October. Was it worth the ten year wait? Louder Than War’s Andy Carrington believes so. To me, Hip-Hop is best when it’s fun and educative. I like my beats hard with lyrics that speak to me. That might not sound much, but there’s a knack to getting it right. An artist’s authenticity stems from how much he/she is involved with the culture and actually understands what it’s all about. Hip-Hop culture and rap music is often imitated, but those utilizing free expression and piecing together samples in the most innovative ways are the ones truly defining it. Back in the late ’90s, a group called “The Impossebulls” was born out of Public Enemy frontman Chuck D’s “Enemy Board” — an online community that allowed promising artists to collaborate, virtually, worldwide. Emcee C-Doc and others took advantage, worked together and formed a team, releasing a scathing attack on major record labels in the form of ‘We Don’t Need You’. Realising The Impossebulls’ potential Chuck then set up his independent label, SLAMjamz as a base for distributing their music. Chuck’s legendary status and good judge of character no doubt benefited The Impossebulls, but they deserve plenty of credit for their strengths alone. C-Doc and co. have been good enough to feature live alongside their political Hip-Hop mentors Public Enemy (to great response); and they’ve dedicated three LPs and various compilation albums-worth of aggressive beats and socio-political lyricism to attacking the system. What’s more, they do it in such a relaxed, informal manner that none of it feels contrived or preachy. You should check out the furious post-911 song ‘Circle Of Lies’ from the Impossebulls’ second album (Slave Education) if you haven’t done already. Their third album — Everything Has Changed; Nothing Is Different — is just as good, if not better… and that’s what we’re gonna focus on here." There’s a quote in the first skit that stands out: “I love Hip-Hop because it stands for love, unity and having fun.” I like this as it defines what The Impossebulls (and, indeed, most Hip-Hop listeners) are all about. Many points on Everything, it feels a lot like a street-corner cypher is taking place: The music is stripped-down and the emcees constantly compete with one another for air time. The live feel brings with it a sense of togetherness that invites you in. Despite a ten year gap between Everything and the second record, the passion and knack for making fun and informative Hip-Hop doesn’t seem to have faded. The ‘Bulls aren’t afraid to graft out their rhymes (listen to: ‘The Anthem of the Opening Act’) or keep heads nodding strictly outta their love for the music (“Money wasn’t any motivation to me/Hip-Hop to me is like family” — ‘FreeSpit’). The no-nonsense production and witty rhyming take influence from the likes of A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul; as well as the obvious, Public Enemy. The ‘Bulls don’t quite have the bite that PE has, but they don’t attempt to emulate it. They showcase a range of skills, making dedicated crowd anthems (‘The GetUp’), telling stories about life on the road (‘Road Warriors’) and philosophising over seasonal beats (‘August’). There’s nice use of jazz and funk samples mixed with the classic boom-bap sound to compliment the smooth emceeing. C-Doc delivers plenty of wise words in a assured, easygoing manner; likewise, does Marcus J, in response to those rich, mainstream-friendly rappers: “[I] Still put my soul in the heart of each line/ ‘Cause someone’s hearing me rhyme/ for the first time,” (‘FreeSpit’). There’s real talent here, real appreciation for the culture. On ‘Bigger Than You’ and ‘The GetBack’ (featuring Chuck D), the ‘Bulls pay tribute to the late ’80s/early ’90s Hip-Hop golden era; on ‘HaveNots Mascot’ the rappers take turns to rip the beat a new one. ‘Breaker 1-2′ is a beast of a track: Real aggressive and upbeat. DJ Lord makes a memorable appearance on ‘Think (About It)’, backing up the emcees as they spit a series of rhetorical “what ifs”; while ‘The Breath I Got Left’ (featuring Belle McNulty singing the hook) is more sentimental in its telling of the ‘Bulls’ Hip-Hop upbringing and capturing the essence of the time. There’s plenty to enjoy here. Everything has tremendous enthusiasm, with The Impossebulls demonstrating their passion, creativity and commitment to Hip-Hop in the form of hard bass drums, snapping snares and cohesive lyricism. There’ll be no profit made on this album as it’s been released as a free digital download so don’t make excuses, just download it and have a listen. It’s particularly clear from the jazz-sampled ‘Erykah & Jean’ that these guys are integral part of the culture and aren’t here to mess around. This is a great record — one that deserves to be heard."
Album Review: The Impossebulls – Everything Has Changed, Nothing Is Different
Dope. That’s the first word you hear on the first track of this album. It has not been chosen at random. Some words about the listener… I’ve never really been a big hip-hop fan. Never been a disser either. I love what Tricky does, get a serious kick from artists such as Roots Manuva and really dig most of what Public Enemy or the Beastie Boys produced (Adam Yauch: my sincere respect goes to you, wherever you are). I’m more of a 4/4 beats guy, love Underworld, the Chemical Brothers, James Holden, Spacer and many others I discovered by buying DJ vinyls. But I’m open minded, so I listen to ambient (Stars Of The Lid, Biosphere), classical music (Vivaldi, Dvorak, Arvo Pärt) and some other stuff (Radiohead, Tori Amos… Yep!). As for hip-hop, I was never quite able to understand the genre: why constantly rapping about guns and female dogs? Why using those dull, cliché synth sounds that make it look like the music is being played by a one-handed, one-fingered Bontempi keyboardist? Don’t know, I was probably getting the wrong hip-hop at the wrong time and place… … and back to The Impossebulls A few weeks ago I decided I wanted to discover some seriously fresh stuff. Something not initially pushed by the marketing guys from the industry, but proposed by music lovers whose mission is to bring talents forwards. The Free Music Archive sounded like a good start. It was like being slapped on the face by Ron Perlman and hearing him say: “Where the f*ck have you been?“. In just a few weeks, I discovered such diverse artists as Metastaz, Project Klangform, North Hive, Jazzafari… and Kellee Maize to name a few. These guys are the living proof that the future of music is on the net, CC-licensed for people to discover freely. And then there was this album from The Impossebulls, which has been playing every day on my laptop for the last three weeks. Let me put it this way. Last time I was violently shaken by an album was when I heard Radiohead’s “Kid A”. It wasn’t quite the same with this one: I was working on some Java code when I played this one on FMA and I suddenly noticed I actually had stopped typing. Didn’t even notice I stopped working. I unconsciously had switched to paying attention to the music AND to the poetry pouring out. Who are these guys? Each track is worth your time Each single track is significant or works as the prologue or epilogue of a significant track (“Chapter III“, “The GetDown“, “September“). People, that’s not easy to pull out. How many times have you grabbed an album just to find out that 3/4th of it is barely listenable? Don’t make me quote ’em… After the introductory “Chapter III” we get to “The Anthem of the Opening Act“, which gives the musical tone: it’s going to be soulful, it’s going to be funky and it’s going to be full of vinyl hiss and noise. You can almost pinpoint their influences on that music timeline. The prose is playful, but not meaningless: it’s going to be about hip-hop, about their vision of it, the way they make it and the way it impacted their existence. About the why’s and the how’s. There’s also some serious turntables’ wizardry in there (“Runnin’ With The Bulls“). Wait a sec’ let me check who made this… Aha: Chuck D and Brother Mike Williams, DMC… Anyone must have, at the very least, heard of these guys! They’re not the only ones who contributed, though. Don’t know their work… yet! I need to check ’em out urgently… “The GetBack” delivers on the soul, both musically and textually speaking. Listen to the song and you’ll get some answers on the “why’s“. It almost plays like a movie in your head! Then “The GetDown” is dropped, acting as a bridge between “The GetBack” and the “The GetUp“. This is when you start noticing the cohesion of the album. Listen to each track separately and you get a great experience. Listen to the album as a whole and it’s out-of-this-world: songs complete each other like the chapters of a great book. “August” and “September” are also a good example of this. And that first word you hear on the first track? It completes the sentence that ends the album. Epic songs “The GetBack” stuck into my head for a while, but “Bigger Than You” moves it up one notch: anthemic, epic, clever. This one is made to rally people. Ends up beautifully with this line that I absolutely love: “You woke at the top. I’m still in no spot. Don’t hand me your thing. I’m already king“. Amen! “Road Warriors” is one of my personal favorites. The Supertramp sample (“Goodbye Stranger“) sets the tone, the prose tells the story. Isn’t hip-hop at its best when it tells a story? Once again, I can almost see the movie unraveling in my head. That’s quality storytelling alright. And what about “HaveNots Mascot“: powerful, slightly distorted beats… It’s a military march where words and music have replaced guns and knives: “Give me the mike, and a reason…“. Reason? Maybe those racial issues which recurrently make the news’ headlines. “Music is pregnant with power to do a lot in the world” (whose quote is it?): it makes you wonder if some issues wouldn’t better be solved with music and words as weapons. “HaveNots Mascot“: a call to arms, without the guns? Definitely my favorite one from the album. Moving songs The Impossebulls can also be moving, as in “Erykah & Jean“: clearly aims at the heart. Beyond the fact that the refrain is catchy as hell, the song really talks to music lovers and the way they can end up putting music before friends and family. It is a moving and beautiful message delivered magnificently. This is also the case with “The Breath I Got Left“. Some prose just sticks with you for days: simply put, it’s beautifully-phrased street poetry: words chosen with dignity. I’m Ron Perlman And by the way, did I mention the production quality is astounding? Did I mention that the album is sprinkled with recordings of MCs and artists telling us why they love hip-hop so much? And did I mention “August“, “Think About It“, “Breaker 1-2“… By this time I guess you get my point. I’m Ron Perlman and I’m telling you “Go get that f*ckin’ album“. It is CC-licensed, free for you to download and share as long as you don’t remix it or use it for commercial purposes. Root for them. If you feel inclined, grab that “Everything” EP or that cool Box Set. The Impossebulls deserve to be known. So let me quote the last track on the album (“When It Dies“) and tell you: I love hip-hop because it’s f*cking
The Impossebulls – Everything Has Changed; Nothing is Different
By: Alex O Brien
"Everything Has Changed; Nothing Is Different pushes the subsonic envelope of my living room. My wall-hanging and otherwise precariously poised objects were due for a study in earthquake readiness, and The Impossebulls deliver extremely diverse and groove-inducing waveforms. I anxiously dig into our twenty-first century’s version of liner notes—BlocSonic Netlabel pulls out all the bells and whistles with their best-in-class digital packaging—and I am quickly entranced by ”the Bull’s” unmistakable comradery and drive. I’m in awe of the broad roster they describe as “the world’s first virtual rap squad.” I see and hear that they were reared in the art of slave-education (and I do love this phrase) by professionals such as Public Enemy. Unlike many of their contemporaries in the burgeoning net audio scene, these cats have put in time on the road as the openers and as a main draw. The first few tracks make up an icebreaking introduction as they ooze with the group’s reciprocal respect for their audience. These brutally honest lyrical operators have the privilege of dancing on a cross-pollinated blend of classic sample-driven backdrops and more eclectic, modern production elements. A few of the my favorite things: The singularly genre-less sound and the kinship emanating from “Road Warriors.” The wet pavement and penetrating pulse of the city in “Bigger Than You.” The spoken interludes ranging from intimate comedy to meta-topical wisdom. Sekreto & Caballeros Del Plan G’s sharp spit en Español as featured on “Break 1-2.” The samplings of Def Chad’s aptitude for words and Villain151’s “scathing stream of consciousness” found in “Havenots Mascot.” Another standout is the “GetBack > GetDown > GetUp” luxe concept trifecta. Beginning with “The GetBack,” C-Doc, Chuck D, Marcus J, and Tah Phrum Duh Bush share ebullient histories of their journeys from fandom. “The GetUp” seals the deal, burning out with outstandingly positive vibes. Additionally, Mported Flows, Jamod Allah, Mike T, CM aka Creative, Cheese, DJ Lord, Boooka, and Brother Mike Williams are also “in on this joint.” Everything Has Changed; Nothing Is Different is fueled by a pragmatic, scavenging, collective spirit; it seeks and finds a taste of selflessness, humility, and gratitude. The full-length album has many desirable throw-back qualities for hip-hop heads, but there is nothing about it that is antiquated or bereft of youth. This crew knows how to play. Their tales epistemologically pursue a sweet spot between realism and optimism. The Impossebulls are seasoned, grounded, and as cool as the concrete beneath the clear, sky-blue and vermilion dusk of summer. They communicate a unique non-denominational gospel of self-knowledge, respect, reverence, maturity, clarity, and liberation. I dig ‘em.
- 1 Chapter III
- 2 The Anthem of the Opening Act
- 3 Runnin' With The Bulls
- 4 The GetBack
- 5 The GetDown
- 6 The GetUp
- 7 Bigger Than You
- 8 Think (About It)
- 9 Road Warriors
- 10 August
- 11 September
- 12 Erykah & Jean
- 13 Breaker 1-2
- 14 FreeSpit
- 15 The Breath I Got Left
- 16 HaveNots Mascot
- 17 When It Dies