Thesis Sahib The Secret Adventures of Thesis Sahib (And Friends)

London, ON has long supported creative, cerebral underground hip-hop artists. But, until recently, London hasn't displayed much of its own talent to the rest of the world. Governor Bolts was the first artist to sneak out, with his abstract hip-hop poetics. Next up are Toolshed and Thesis Sahib, each with a full-length independent release. On first listen, The Secret Adventures of... was a letdown. The beats were mid-tempo; too fast to be emotional and not hard enough to pack much bang, never mind them not kicking you in the pants. A few more rotations and extra contemplation time worked in the album's favour. The beats are still less than I would prefer, but there are some moments where the producers get crafty: Dayji with "Nervous Ritual," Gordon Light Weight with "Voiceless Lesson" and Fat Mike and Voula with "Creator Created." While I have no problems with Thesis, vocally - and make no mistake that he's a good writer with an interesting flow - the best tracks tend to feature guest appearances. The variety this creates works best with Toolshed ("Land Lake of Latex" and "Collageration") and ex-'Shedder Self Help ("Baby Ducks/Dragon Flys" and "Parade of Emotion"). "Willamena Willendorf" and "Well Bred Laughing Stock" are also worth checking out. A better introduction to the London scene would be Toolshed's self-titled debut. The beats on this one have that energetic dynamic that gets you listening a little closer, and being a group gives a bit more variety than Thesis's album. The 'Shed touch on a variety of subjects and concepts: the downfall of the pop star ("The Eagles Been Hung"), the shallowness of the meat market ("Clubsuck") and the never-ending quest to constantly improve ("Homemade"), creating an album with numerous highlights straight through. Too bad there weren't more Canadian artists willing to attempt innovation (Independent)