Eville, the notably calculated and computed half of Hip-Hop Duo, SoAu, released a solo album entitled, House Of The Rising Sons in March of 2015 with the assistance and artistic vision of producer extraordinaire, Zpu-Zilla. The project’s title is a variation from Nina Simone’s uptempo ballad, “House of Rising Sun”, released in 1962 from the album Nina at the Village Gate. Eville paid a heartfelt tribute to an iconic voice, and musical entity that is Ms. Nina Simone, a powerful singer-songwriter, pianist, arranger, and civil rights activist. This project is a joint effort on the parts of Zpu-Zilla and Eville’s to bring people a little closer to realizing how marvelous a talent Nina Simone was and remains.
As a long time fan of Eville’s music, from Elevator Music, Eville Dead, Analog Brain Food, and Paper Dragons, this album by far leaves the rest, in my opinion behind. The biggest contrast with HORS is the energy that Eville exerts in each track, colors and the ranges that he experiments with, which as a listener I have craved to hear from the emcee for many years. With such a distinctive voice, it is breath of fresh air to hear him shine in this regard. Possibly the influence from his beloved idol, Ms. Simone, that revved him up? Whatever it was, he truly did her legacy justice in the Hip-Hop sector by pouring his heart and soul into this project. I have never heard him like this. It is one of those significant changes in an artist’s growth that makes it extremely difficult to find anything to critique in the compilation. Thus far, the only thing that I can find fault with is that the project is 11 tracks and not 12, or 13…or 14. That is a good thing.
The album is lightly sprinkled with features to add dimension to an already solidly structured project. It could be coincidence that the title is House Of The Rising Sons, with all artistic contributions on the project provided by men. Clever spin. Artist like CGats, the swift and instantaneous counter part of SoAu, super charged his way on to the track Newest Rubric, which easily became one of my favorites. Greydon Square, with an a matter of fact style flow breezed his verse on No Room At The Inn. Indefinite, articulates his flow and his message on Page Fright, communicating that he is no one to test. And saving the best for last, the grounding entity of the duo, aGG also known as Aggravated Man (SoAu’s former third member who still graces their projects), appeared on Risky Biz to seal the deal. I could be a sucker for high energy music in Hip Hop, but of the two of the three solo tracks I enjoyed the most were Sea Line and Taken. Those two songs stole my heart (and my backside as there was much gyrating and painful twerking). The third song, WornPeace was very thought provoking and whose lyrics proved worthy of further analysis.
Not to take away any attention from Zpu-Zilla, I want to add the producer did a marvelous job recreating, splicing, splitting, arranging, sampling and reincarnating Ms. Nina Simone from analog to digital and into original tracks for this project. Each track encompassed its own distinction, and complemented the other well. As their intention was to bring people to the knowledge of Nina Simone’s talent, they were successful in illustrating the variety of her catalog, showcasing the talent of an amazing emcee, Eville, and a brilliant producer, Zpu-Zilla. There are no stray hairs or sore thumbs in this compilation, it is an enjoyable listen and officially my favorite release from Eville. Every Hip-Hop aficionado should place this one in their rotation. It is a gem.
Listen to the full album, House of The Rising Sons on Soundcloud.com!
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