Hip-hop, hip-hop where ya been? (And when I say hip-hop, I’m referring to quality breakbeats and rhymes not some moron babbling inanities through a vocoder over what sounds a lot like a Euro-house from 1999). Well, here’s a man who knows and his name, appropriately enough, is Savant. A microphone fiend since 1999 (having been inspired by Mos Def), Savant’s The Delayed Entry EP is his debut and the evidence suggests that while he might have arrived at the party late, he came correct. The flows might be conscious but they’re far from self-righteous and evidence of Savants’ lyrical agility is best showcased on the stand-out alliterative battle-rhyme Concrete Techniques. Despite having a different producer for each track (including RJD2 on opener The Lyricist Three Mix), there’s a unity of sound on this release with crisp breaks and soulful loops being the name of the game in a style that recalls Black On Both Sides or late-era ATCQ – check the dreamy soulful cut Marry A Memory if you don’t believe me. It’s certainly up there with the best hip-hop I’ve heard this year, and not the least of the reasons for this is that with Savant you have a highly competent lyricist who appears to have excellent taste in beats. It’ll be interesting to see what he drops next. I’ll definitely be listening.
Listen/ FREE DOWNLOAD – Savant – The Delayed Entry EP
(PRESS RELEASE) The debut release of Chicago-bred emcee Savant, one half of the emcee alliance RAREBREED and affiliate of the Nerdy Rotten Scoundrels international hip hop collective and the UK- based Evil Twin label.
Tucson, AZ resident, by way of El Paso, TX and Chicago, IL, Gregory “Savant” Daggett has always possessed a passion for music and literary arts. Involved in general music since age 7, and a trumpet player since age 10, he wasn’t officially exposed to hip hop until age 12. Although no particular emcee caught his ear right away, he was intrigued with the entire concept of an individual or a group of people speaking over instrumentation in an intensely rhythmic lyrical form, oftentimes telling semi-autobiographic tales relating to a fictionalized counterpart. He became inspired to write and partake of the art of emceeing after hearing the 1999 classic “Black on Both Sides” by Dante Smith and honed his emceeing chops at the lunch room ciphers of Chicago high schools Whitney M. Young Magnet and George Washington Carver. He has since dedicated every verse, every bar and every word to achieving the ever elusive sense of balance in this hallowed art form. Follow the flow…
“… [Savant] is a very promising lyricist… [the EP] acts as an interesting primer for a future full-length album and his is a journey that will, at the very least, prove fascinating…” (Jay Soul – RapReviews.com)
“Savant’s [EP] is a breath of fresh air in this climate of nasty, watered-down formulaic hip-pop.” (DJ Mark Devlin – BlackSheepMag.com