Chapter Us vs. Them

Picture a mix of emotional, street-level lyricism with banging beats that ride softly on soulful Rhodes, bass and guitar. Now imagine this super group is only two cats — MC Verbal-E and musical powerhouse 3Sixty — and they both call ?uestlove amongst their fans. In fact, ?uest was so impressed with Las Vegas based the Chapter, he hand picked their track out of thousands to appear on the Okayplayer comp True Notes Vol.1. As their debut release, Us vs. Them is reminiscent of the best the Roots are capable of. Tracks like "This Thing” groove slowly with a deep-introspective beat and raps full of soulful bravado. "Soundwave Slavery” is a rolling rhythm that bounces along spacey Rhodes keys and rhymes about the state of hip-hop and the refuge found in the underground. "Way Out” jumps right into a Roots styled jazz-hip-hop break and Verbal E telling you a life story. Sharp programming and impressive musicianship from 3Sixty, who learned to play all the instruments heard on the record in a few short years, as well as the brooding rhyming about Sin City provided by Verbal E, is all a welcome brand of street-spiritual soul and poignant, reflective lyricism. Us vs. Them is an impressive debut that will definitely make the Chapter the first to break out of the Vegas hip-hop scene. (Awthentix)