Configa Calm before the storm Mixtape…Out Now
The brother Configa with the ill album that is receiving rave reviews EVERYWHERE, and deservedly so, the kid comes with the boom bap, understands his foundations and conveys that through the music consistently…Salute….
UK based Configa first got into hip hop in 1988 via the sounds of The Native Tongues. As a young teenager, he saw his future as lying in radio, and even had his own hip hop show on a local unlicensed station, but ultimately the draw of the mic proved too great and he started writing his own rhymes at the age of 16 under the pseudonym ‘M.C. Unique’. Early ventures included making mix tapes that were sold and distributed on the local streets, freestyle battles and exploiting musical avenues through the relatively new medium of the Internet. As a noted battle rapper, ‘Unique’ decided to build upon his buzz and release his debut album entitled ‘Baptizm Of Fire’ in 2000. Aside from mic duties, the album was also self-produced/mixed/manufactured and financed. The album notably featured a collaboration with B. Down the owner of LA based ‘Rap Junkie Records’ who signed ‘Unique’ to his fledgling Independent label in 2001.
‘M.C. Unique’ featured on two mix tapes on the LA label, Independent Game 1 (2001) and Independent Game 2 (2002) and released his second album, ‘The King Of Linguistics’, in 2002 also through ‘Rap Junkie Records’, this album again being mainly self produced. The album garnered favourable reviews and received solid exposure, including a mention on MTV.com alongside the ‘8 Mile’ Soundtrack and Christina Aguilera upon its release date and was subject to European and US wide distribution.
Following the promotion of the album, in 2003 ‘Unique’ decided to take a back seat on mic duties and rebrand himself ‘Configa’ where he has focused almost exclusively on production work since. In 2004, Configa formed, along with Wargasms, Arsenal and C-Gully, the crew ‘Slept On Fam’. The album ‘Audio Crack’ was released in late 2006 to critical acclaim. Rapreviews.com asked the rhetorical question “What makes Configa so good?” and heralded his “splendiferous sonic scenery” (1); music Insider Gian Fiero stated “It’s not often that I get a group Rap project that embodies this much personality, influence, and talent” (2); ukhh.com exclaimed that “Configa serves up the production crack for those audio canals” (3) and Blues & Soul magazine pinpointed “Configa’s stirring production”. To coincide with these favourable reviews various accolades started coming in, culminated by Slept On Fam in 2007 winning ‘Group of The Year’ at the second annual ‘Get ‘Em Magazine’ music awards in Florida (hosted by the legendary boxer Roy Jones Jr), beating such luminaries as recent Oscar winners Three 6 Mafia (4).
More recently (after a lengthy music hiatus where Configa had a weekly online radio show, and studied for and obtained his PhD on a thesis about hip hop and ethnicity), in 2010, Configa released a 2Pac remix album entitled “Configa Presents…Pac To The Essence Vol. 1” to mark the 14th year of 2Pac’s passing, set up his own Independent record label “Configaration Records”, and began work on his solo album entitled “Inside The Echo Chamber”, which will be entirely produced by Configa himself with a host of different MC’s guesting on the tracks. Notable confirmed guests so far include Stateside legends Craig G, Chino XL, Nine, and Kurtis Blow along with UK legend Scorzayzee (5). The album is set for release early 2012.
The 2Pac remix album was also critically acclaimed with one reviewer stating “What is clear from listening to ‘Pac To The Essence’ is Configa’s unquestionable skills in sampling, beat making and his ability to build and construct a track” (6); Rapeviews.com praised the way Configa “re-imagines old tracks featuring 2Pac in a brand new light with such style and flair that it’s a truly enjoyable experience” (7); and another reviewer commented that “The sheer force of the sound when the beat drops jolts your ears . It’s like smashing at high speed into a wall of awesome” and that “Configa has not only re-created the essence of Tupac, but has made an album that I believe Tupac himself would have been proud of. Pac would have been happy to rap on these beats” (8). More praise followed from various other music critics: “Vocal samples, horns and a ride in the Hip hop carnival ensue and I’m glad I bought the ticket.” and “My thoughts after listening to this LP pretty much solid for a week or so is that if this was a 2Pac original release (meaning when Pac was alive and the vocals were laced on Configa’s beats originally) it would have become somewhat of a classic, it’s just a shame that a lot of producers have made fans bored of hearing disappointing remix’s and sacrilegious mash-ups” (10). Finally, yet another reviewer amongst many others, had nothing but a positive reception to give: “This album is a surprisingly rare gem amongst many, and often mediocre, 2pac remix & posthumous releases. ‘Configa Presents…Pac To The Essence Vol. 1′ is a must have for ‘Pac fans’ and hip-hoppers alike. This is authentic sounding hip-hop at its best” (10)
Moving into 2011, Configa has just this week released the mixtape “Configa Presents: Calm Before The Storm”. A 20 track collection of the underground’s (both the UK and US’s) finest MC’s spittin’ flamez over his boom-bap driven beats. There are no “name” guest verses, so the music speaks for itself without any name association involved whatsoever, and all of the beats are original Configa compositions – unlike other so called mixtapes where one below average MC simply hijacks industry beats. This release stands alone by itself, with its strength and depth, and also acts a prelude to “Inside The Echo Chamber” which will follow, as mentioned, in early 2012. This mixtape sums up what Configa is about, that rhythmic “Golden Era” sound, or “Real hip hop” as it’s mentioned in certain quarters, and the MC’s who have provided sonic paintings to his audio canvas have certainly provided the lyrical quality to back up the head nodding instrumentation.
Three tracks have been leaked all of which can be listened to in their entirety here
“Calm Before The Storm Intro (ft. T.D. Francis)”
“Revolution (ft. Slept On Fam)”
“Back 2 Basics (ft. John Graham)”
On top of this, there is also a FULLY DOWNLOADABLE 17 minute DJ mix (provided by Frank Costa) which gives the listener an expertly cut glimpse of every track that is on the mixtape.
The mixtape (and other Configa material) is available for immediate purchase from the following links:
iTunes – http://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/configa-presents-calm-before/id455985893
or Amazon – http://amzn.to/pPleuK
ow! http://www.configa.com sounding hip-hop at its best,