Artist: Ed E. Ruger
Title: Ziplocked & Loaded
Within the first couple of bars of the introductory track of this album Ed E. Ruger establishes the fact that he is a driven, earnest artist (and I do mean artist) with a knack for imagery and an honest “every-man” appeal. Throughout Ziplocked & Loaded, the Greensboro, NC native flexes his gutteral rasp with an elasticity and versatility that sets him apart from the one-trick ponies that have become so prominate in today’s hiphop arena. The album is lush with low end thump, watery synths and moody pianos all driving Ruger’s ongoing narrative of an artist and man capturing the glory of his dreams on his own terms.
Boasting a wide musical and topical range, Ziplocked & Loaded offers a collection of songs that appeal to a broad scope of sensibilities without sounding slap-dash or scatter-shot. This variety coupled with Ruger’s consistancy as a lyricist form the core strength of the album. There is the wistful nostalgia of “Thank The Streets” [featuring guest spots from Drawzilla and Seven] and the visceral energy of “Ima Fuck You Up.” In songs like “This Is The Life (The Hangover Song)” and “Luck Is For Losers” boastful bragadoccio and after hours glamour are juxtaposed with the day-job hustle and rat race stress with equal conviction. The true-school purists get their dose of classic boom-bap on “Get ‘Em” complete with nimble scratching provided by DJ Philly Fresh and loudmouthed laptop DJs, skinny-jean clad hipsters and radio rap bafoons all catch shots in “Dummy Disease.” My personal highlight was the Kaze and Chaundon assisted “Crush Careers” a classic southern hip-hop cut that reminded me of Dungeon Family circa 1995 but with a new millenium ferocity.
While it is a solid record front to back there were a few spots that lagged in comparison to the rest of the album. “Like Yeah” and “Ballin” came accross as heavy-handed attempts at club bangers and “The B Side” felt like a little trite as a tale of urban blight but Rugers artful wordplay and vigorous delivery rescues them from being throw away tracks.
The Verdict: COP IT!!!
ITS FINALLY ON iTUNES! “Ziplocked & Loaded” available on iTunes & 30 more stores!
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