Hezekiah Hurry Up & Wait

With so many producers in the world today looking to speed up hooks from dusty old soul gems and inject a little of what’s good into hip-hop music, emcee-producer-instrumentalist Hezekiah is almost an anomaly. Rather than milking the crates, this Delaware native (everybody’s got to come from somewhere) draws almost entirely from self for his debut disc. Hurry Up & Wait mixes cooled-out guitar licks with smooth bass lines, showing at every twist and turn that the new kid can sing as well as rhyme. Hezekiah’s skills as an emcee come off more as an important (though not principal) piece of a very rich pie, as he seems to draw heavily from the early Slum Village school of rhyme, dropping verses that work more on sound and feeling than on actual substance. But it’s on the album’s many vocal inflections that the multitalented musician really shines. "Right On” sees the singer apparently channelling D’Angelo, from the layered vocal harmonies to the rich keys. On "Children Don’t Play,” Hezekiah passes on production duties to Illmind and sings the entire track Spacek-style in a clear representation of his diversity. Roots Crew member Scratch, Grand Agent, and even lost treasure Bahamadia — who shows she can still wreck a mic with the best of them — pass by to lend their support to a sound debut from an artist that should be one to watch. (Soulspazm)