Call me a crotchety old man but, generally speaking, modern hip-hop does nothing for me.  As someone who grew up on Run-DMC, Eric B. & Rakim, Public Enemy, BDP, De La Soul, Nas, Wu-Tang, etc., the new stuff’s just way too formulaic, with dude’s spitting the same gangsta rap cliche’s over squeaky clean, radio ready backing tracks.  I know, I know – there are definitely exceptions but overall it reminds me of rock in the 70’s, before punk came along and brought back that raw energy. Hip-hop needs it’s Ramones, it’s Sex Pistols,  it’s Clash.

But I digress –  instead, turn your attention to a bright spot from the underground – the 5 o’clock Shadowboxers, who recently dropped the Broken Clocks EP, the follow up to their debut, The Slow Twilight. The first thing that caught my ears were their samples – I mean, anyone who rhymes over Venus in Furs is alright in my book – but, after repeated listens, it’s the lyrics that keep you hooked.  They’re clever, well played turn of phrases and, at times, like the best of songs, self-effacing and personal. Zilla Rocca’s got a good flow and I really dig the vintage movie clips and film noir references.  “Hat-choo, God Bless, you ain’t Shaq, I’ll hack you and take it back to the era of black dudes when white kids gave a f*ck, now they save their bucks” from Eric Lindros and “This ain’t for the ladies sweatin’ on the dance floor, this is for the drunk dude by himself therefor….” from No Fury pretty much hit the nail on the head. I love this stuff.

But, whatever – don’t take my word for it – listen to the tracks below and peep the videos (especially the Weak Stomach remix, featuring Curly Castro, who kills it). Both the EP and full length are strong, and definitely worthy of dropping some coin on so pick up both and support independent music.

And they’ll be playing a special live set this Thursday night, October 21 at 7:30pm at the Slingluff Gallery so stop on by. No excuse ’cause it’s free.