One Be Lo
S.O.N.O.G.R.A.M.


4.0
excellent

Review

by Bulldog USER (114 Reviews)
January 20th, 2010 | 36 replies | 7,925 views


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Who got the props? Who got the props?

4 of 4 thought this review was well written

When it comes to rap in pop culture, there are two types of people – those who generalize rap as a bad form of music that’s “just talking [over a beat] about drugs, sex, money, and violence,” and those who like the terrible, simple, monotonous garbage that infiltrates the radio. But, since 1999, there has been a man who defies the stereotypes all the while re-setting the standard. A real street poet who lives the gospel he preaches, One Be Lo. After having robbed a pizza parlor in his hometown of Pontiac, Michigan early 1994, he and Senim Silla (his former partner that he formed Binary Star with) were sentenced to 3-20 years in prison for armed robbery. After being released, One Be Lo formed Binary Star with Senim Silla, but after two albums, they broke apart. His third album, S.O.N.O.G.R.A.M. is indicative of the higher intelligence present in hip-hop – a musical oilfield just waiting to be found.

As seen in the typical underground rap album, minimalistic, alternative lo-fi production is present, but for a different reason. Rather than being present because of the lack of good producers willing to create beats for the album, it’s to set up a thinking atmosphere. Rather than what most rap attempts (a one-two punch of bass and synths) the production is comprised heavily of percussion, old school DJ techniques such as scratching, some acoustic elements, and old movie sampling. The production on S.O.N.O.G.R.A.M. deflects interest from itself, putting emphasis upon One Be Lo.

Further, One Be Lo’s smooth delivery, laidback voice, and uptempo, but somehow relaxing, flow only further allow me to sink into the easy listening environment, which highlights One Be Lo’s philosophical, deep lyrics. One Be Lo flips topics and provides converse to typical rap subjects, rather than talk about sex, money, bullheaded violence, and drugs. He speaks about religion; love; poverty, peace, senseless violence, flaws in our society, and human flaws in a creative way with metaphors, analogies, and wordplay. Just like shallow rappers, whom put emphasis on material things, remind me of what I one day hope to have (beautiful women, tons of money, nice cars, and a big house) S.O.N.O.G.R.A.M. reminds me of how lucky I am to live the privileged life I do.

S.O.N.O.G.R.A.M. is excellent political, religious and philosophical rap. It sets the standard for what rap should be, and shatters the ever-present stereotype that rap is shallow, materialistic, and violent. One Be Lo is a real philosopher on the microphone and, and, dare I say it, a learning experience created in the form of rap. And unlike the kids who “can’t do homework ‘cause they homes don’t work,” I was able to, and I actually appreciate it this time. There’s good rap out there, and despite what you may think, it’s not that hard to find.



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user ratings (45)
Chart.
4.2
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Athom
Staff Reviewer
January 20th 2010



17197 Comments


This is such a good cd. It's nice to see it reviewed.

diggitydawgity
January 20th 2010



1 Comments


Yea I agree, I like it alot. How was the actual review?

Athom
Staff Reviewer
January 20th 2010



17197 Comments


it was good. described the album really well.

Bulldog
January 20th 2010



3796 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks, that means alot to me coming from a contributor. I appreciate it.

FistfulOfSteel
January 21st 2010



894 Comments


good stuff, just trying to get into binary star a bit more then i think ill check this out too. keep it up, nice to see some good hiphop on here.

Bulldog
January 21st 2010



3796 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Binary Star has one big release, which is Masters of the Universe, which is like a re-release of Waterworld. So I'm sad that that they didn't collaborate together for longer. Trying to find more One Be Lo and Senim Silla stuff though.

hipnotoad
January 21st 2010



207 Comments


I've been meaning to check this out. I haven't so much as touched any solo material from either of the two.

Thompsonhunt
January 21st 2010



279 Comments


love this album, totally forgot about

Roach
January 21st 2010



2149 Comments


This sounds like something worth checking out.

iisblackstar
January 21st 2010



431 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

mate your cranking out these reviews faster than i can read them.. all pretty high quality reviews as well might have to pick some of these up

Bulldog
January 21st 2010



3796 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks man, I appreciate the compliment. Trying to get from 43 to 50 by February 1st.

iisblackstar
January 21st 2010



431 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

at this rate its a given, youll prob run out of albums ha

also this album sounds so sic from what ive heard definately gettin it... his delivery reminds of mos
def a little bit on some songs, probably why this seems so familiar on first listen

Bulldog
January 21st 2010



3796 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh yea, it's awesome, my class mate (not hydeyomoney) introduced me to Binary Star and, despite their lack of releases, are one of my favorite artists/bands of all time, and thusly, the individual artists as well.

iisblackstar
January 21st 2010



431 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i can definately see the same happenin for me as well.. will have to check out some of the binary star stuff and senim silla

Bulldog
January 21st 2010



3796 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Senim Silla has only one I've found, but it's great, it's definitely a grower. I rated it a 3.5, but it's like a high four, low 4.5. I'm gonna do the "change ratings" thingy over the weekend hopefully.

iisblackstar
January 22nd 2010



431 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'll keep an eye on your high rated stuff cuz We got similar tastes in hip hop

Bulldog
January 22nd 2010



3796 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Aight cool man, who's your favorite artist?

iisblackstar
January 22nd 2010



431 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

prob mos def or eazy-e or gza... checking out that binary star, masters of the universe album now, really liked the one be lo one.


Bulldog
January 22nd 2010



3796 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Masters Of The Universe is my second favorite album of all time.

Bulldog
January 22nd 2010



3796 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

and Eazy-E is one of my favorite artists, as well.



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