CD: We Thrive
Label: Jinx Productions
Genre: Rap, Hip Hop
Sounds Like: Eminem, Everlast, Too Short, Biggie Smalls, Jay Z, Big L, Crooked I, Bone Thugs in Harmony, Rage Against the Machine
Technical Grade: 8/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 9/10
Songwriting Skills: 9/10
Performance Skill: 9/10
Best Songs: Armageddon, Cloud of Smoke, Hero, Blessed, Copacetic, We Thrive
Weakness: Winded Songs, No Barcode, “Intro” Crossfade
When you think of American rap locales one thinks of places like ATL, LA, NY. Even Washington State has had its share of popular rap artists over the years. Artists like Sir Mix-A-Lot, LaborOldoninion, Blue Scholars, The Boom Bap Project come to mind. One of the fresh new rap artists I recently checked out hails from of all places Bremerton, WA that goes by the name of David Olivas. His latest fully loaded 14 Track CD goes by the name “We Thrive” released in 2015 (Jinx Productions).
The CD methodically gets under way with “Intro” that leads you into Track 2 “Blessed” feat Phae La an impressive upbeat prelude that’s sets the stage perfectly for this 14 Track set with its theatrical musical build, sonic Piano, catchy groove and addictive hooks all in the right places. Lyrical content in impressive, upbeat and positive making for an impressive lead off statement. Track 3 “Pressure” feat Phae-La, Push Capone shifts gears a bit but definitely hit’s the deck running delivering a no holds barred rap flow that’s in your face and refuses to back down. Track 4 “Reason To Live” feat Melia Olivas dishes out hypnotic low-end groove with well-placed melodic support against a grand slam chorus. Track 5: one of my favorites “We Thrive” delivers THE premier hot track that’s hot to the touch, with yet another impressive message and impressive verse split. As this CD slowly unfolds I can hear many rap influences reminiscent of classic Bone Thugs in Harmony, Everlast, Eminem, Too Short, Biggie Smalls, Jay Z, Big L, and even Crooked I and a touch of Rage Against the Machine. Along the way you can’t help but notice a lot of impressive musical soundscapes layered within the music. The overall production value has everything you would expect from a high-end Rap CD. Each piece is packed to the hilt with things like top tiered sound effects and sampling, well placed Piano, Guitar, smooth as silk keyboard and synthesizer accents and a few impressive harmonies layered along the way. Besides impressive Rap flow one will notice some amazing, off the charts vocal harmonies and abilities as well. The beats are thick as a brick providing solid low end support. The CD has many musical flavors, from hip hop, rap, and even psychedelic rock. You will find everything from clever rhymes, addictive melodies, lyrics that are thought provoking, and rap flows that are well thought out and masterfully executed. Now turning out attention to Olivas – he’s no doubt a rising star in Bremerton by proving he’s a marquee talent. He should be treated as strong up and comer within the area. The thing I like the most about Olivas is how handles himself within each song. He’s got strong musical instincts behind the microphone no doubt. Equally as impressive is his X-Factor from Olivas brings to the table as he dabbles in several menacing alter egos along the musical journey. Some tracks are funny and up beat providing old school harmonies, and hooky West Coast grooves like “Cloud of Smoke” and Make it Okay.” While others go down are smooth and are extremely melodic like “Hero” But as expected several tracks hit you right between the eyes with straight up truth be told content like: “Copacetic feat Knothead”, “Armageddon” feat yungnsea and “Cloud of Smoke”. There are some true gems on this release. “We Thrive” from my personal favorite “Armageddon” and “Blessed” to hypnotic “Phone, Keys, Wallet, Weed” feat Chris Dean to infectious “My Time” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD covers a wide range of emotions in the process. CD ends with Track 14 “Hero” feat DPH. At the end of the day this production has everything you would expect from a world class Rap CD. All engineering aspects check out, and are professional grade. CD possesses thick low end punch and crystal clear high end quality. My hats’ off the Chris Dean of Boom-house Studios for his impressive triple threat engineering skills-set he brings to the table. (Recording, Mixing, Mastering) all from one guy? No not easy to do adequately, but Dean pulls it off flawlessly.
There’s no barcode on the flipside of the CD thus indicating a retail non-compatibility. A few songs a winded and as a result drag you to the finish line. Track 1 “Intro” should have been crossfaded into Track 2 for a more seamless transition.
Song for song, pound for pound “We Thrive” by Olivas is one of the most powerful musical releases I’ve heard from Washington State in a long while. Many forget Sir Mix-A lot originally came from Bremerton – perhaps we’re seeing a resurgence of the Rap glory days via some fresh blood. Like a heavy weight fighter this CD goes the full 12 rounds, and never once lets its guard down. It has everything from raw intensify, clever lyrics, to songs that are well crafted and hold your attention span perfectly via well executed Rap and melodies. As a whole this CD possesses much variety, and versatility. It delivers the typical in your face urban swagger you would expect from a rap production. Even more impressive is the strong arsenal of rappers Olivas brings to the table (Phae-La, Push Capone, Yungnsea, OPH, Chris Dean, Gaudy & Automatic, Safira, DPH, Knothead, Stevie Stone, Nik Fury ). (Guitar – Mason Randles of TSW, Miko). Olivas is like a powerful drug, once you get a taste of it – you’ll be coming back for more.
Purchase Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/we-thrive/id1062155118
Final Score: 8.5/10