Stronger than an Oak
Sims, one seventh of the rap collective Doomtree, goes out on a limb with his third solo effort Field Notes. As they say the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree; Sims brought some of his compadres along, creating seven unstoppable beats. Field Notes blossoms track after track with green leaves of lyricism and beautiful budding bass lines.
Sims doesn’t waste a breath here. Each of these seven tracks are penned to perfection. From the jump, Field Notes hits hard. The first track, “L’audace,” sounds like a revolution. Lyrics such as “In my wake I want freedom, I want poetry, I want danger, I want sin/ I’m a heretic, I am arrogant, I’m American, now let’s begin,” come across like marching orders. On “Uh Huh,” Sims tackles politics once again, but his qualms are more aimed at the religious right. Statements like, “furthermore my ancestors never rode on dinosaurs/I’ve been having this argument for 6,000 years/and it only brought me here/but I only state facts, they disregard math,” are like C-4 explosives strapped to bring down the foundation.
It’s on the song “Whale” though were the planets align perfectly, and the three minutes and 36 seconds stand still as a rare feat shows itself to you; an utterly beautiful sad song about struggle and addiction that is breathtaking. Field Notesis one of those albums that upon first listen you fall in love with every drum struck and every word spoken. It’s albums like this that make you remember why you love hip hop in the first place. Not for the guns, women or drugs but for music being used in a way to inspire. Sims, along with his other cohorts, know a thing or two about making real hip hop. If there were a test to take in order to be an MC, Field Notes would be the study guide.