Monday, August 01, 2005

The Rural Files Volume 1: Arcee

Da Grassroots - "Thematics feat. Arcee" from Passage Through Time (1999, Conception Records)

Arcee - "Super Educated feat. Fatski" from The Exquisite 12" (2001, Certified Records)

Toronto-based artist Arcee, (phonated as initials R.C., real name Rana Chatterjee) first created a buzz on Eclipse’s single, “World Premiere” in 1998. The following year, he appeared as a guest artist on Da Grassroots album, “Passage Through Time”. On the track, “Thematics”, he verbalizes an introspective view on the positive aspects of his music-making journey. Arcee reveals his multi-faceted style by intermingling rhythm-heavy wordplay and strangely-suitable battle raps with expressive sentiment. His love and passion is evoked immensely through the hook, which is consistently preceded by shout-outs to significant relations in his life. Da Grassroots provide him with a boom-bass beat, melodically aligned with fresh drum kicks and a very catchy, yet delightful string-loop. After lacing the verses, Arcee compliments the track accordingly with smooth intervals of vocal spurts. Arguably, this track stands out as the album's gem.

In 2002, he released the single “Stripes” on the renown independent label ABB Records, which proved to be a pivotal move in his career. Many didn’t know this, but before producer Jake One blew up, he was counterparts with Arcee, and singles such as “Essay On Pseudoism”, “The Exquisite”, and “Super Educated” exemplified their potential. In 2003, he released a compilation of his singles entitled “Mixedwell” on Fifty-Fourth Records, mixed by Toronto’s own Lil’ Jaz. This release was a true showoff of Arcee’s wide spectrum of musical endeavors. The tune “Twelve” (taken off Nautilus The Navigator’s vinyl single) is strictly funky B-Boy material accentuated by the freshness of both MC’s. Though not given the opportunity for proper exposure towards a sufficient sphere of listeners, in 2004, Arcee landed his acclaimed single “Super Educated” on DJ Premier’s compilation mix, “Step Ya Game Up”. Give it to Primo to shed the light, as in past years he has been illuminating overlooked artists and their raw talent through mixtapes.

With Canada’s regressive transition towards Hip Hop’s demise, which is similar to the likes of America’s current absorption towards screaming and name repetition as a means of hit songs, there is no doubt that the temptation to sell out is highly manifested in today’s array of musical contemporaries. Arcee refrains from doing so and maintains his status as the “advocator of the truth”. His meticulous vocal-compositions combined with refreshingly delivered raps channel through as a declaration to Hip Hop’s golden era.

Arcee doesn’t pay homage to the culture in a single, constricted manner. He also runs a weekly Hip Hop radio show called “The Real Frequency”, which airs on Toronto’s CLKN, every Saturday from 1 to 4 PM PST.


Anonymous 2-Ply said...


12/06/2005 2:22 PM  

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