Number of Stories: 8,000,000.
Number of Bling Blings: 0.
What ever happened to the spirit of Hip Hop? You know, when fat laces adorned high-tops, gold was the metal of choice, “corn rows” was an agricultural term, and most importantly, the music actually mattered? In a genre plagued by a “commodified” urban culture, manufactured emcees, and inane rivalries, it is easy to forget Hip Hop’s heyday when the music told a story and exposed inner-city life all the while making you want to get your dance on. Well, “Live from the ‘O’ State” (Ohio that is) comes Hip Hop’s saving grace in the form of Soul Position; a much needed jolt in the world of the proverbial “bling bling.”The long awaited 8 Million Stories, Soul Position’s first full-length release since their Unlimited E.P., is a much-needed departure from the pimps-n-ho’s Hip Hop made famous by, and flooding the airwaves of, MTV. Utilizing RJD2’s immaculate beats and samples as a backdrop, Blueprint intelligently raps about his own life and lessons learned while remaining socially conscious. Take for instance the track “Fuckajob”: ending the previous song (“Just Think”) with a sample from the movie Office Space, RJD2 brilliantly segues into “Fuckajob” with Blueprint rapping, “Computer programming ain’t about creation / It ain’t about video games or PlayStations / It ain’t about making new jobs or innovation / It’s about automation and permanent vacations.” Themes such as the expendability of the human worker and black urban youth (“Look of Pain”) are among a handful of areas explored. With songs ranging from anecdotal to humorous (“The Jerry Springer Episode”) – coupled with impeccable production and breaks that only RJD2 can provide – Stories is true Hip Hop revisited.