Locke Relevance

The number nine has been the backbone to Locke's short but successful track record so far, beginning with his first appearance as a guest on "They All Believed," track nine on Elderstaar's debut album, Sterling Dreams. He followed that up with the MG! The Visionary-produced "Morteus Silencia," track nine on the Night Owls compilation, which also featured appearances by underground artists such as Mars Ill, LA Symphony and Scribble Jam freestyle champion ADeeM. With his debut album Relevance, this Spokane, WA, rapper finds the most success with (here it comes!) track nine, "Status Quo," a simple, self-programmed drum loop drenched in layers of piano, courtesy of Jeremy Hughes, and is likely the only truly standout track. Add "Like It or Not" and "Ancient Truths," both produced by Nickels, and you have the three songs most worthy of your time. "Aversion (Press Pause)," another Nickels production, and "It's Like That," plus the Ohmega Watts productions "Clear Signal" and "Objects of the Senses," are good album filler, but mostly Relevance is a great background album. Which isn't the same as saying it's not worth listening to. Locke's not a bad lyricist or storyteller, rather his delivery is very unobtrusive and the music is predominantly smooth and laid-back. What results is a good album that doesn't really distinguish itself from the pack, which is too bad, since Locke displays a lot of heart and talent. (Know It All)