In today’s age, technology has flooded our lives with content. Caught in the mire are modern musicians who champion an art form that’s more widely distributed than any other throughout human history. And we, more often than not, overlook the music created by unfamiliar faces because it’s challenging. We’d rather have an easy listen, a known quantity to skim through while we think about something else.
Hearing is easy, but listening is difficult. Welcome to “Why We Like It”, where we rebuke the trends in favor of thoughtful analysis and underknown sounds.
“Teeth” — Rock Abruham
How We Found It
“Teeth” came to me through our SubmitHub inbox, but emcee Rock Abruham has stuck with me far beyond the reach of the single. Spinning his back catalog, I was thrilled to get even more of the confident cadence and heavy rhymes that I loved on “Teeth,” and even more thrilled to catch the familiar voice of Quelle Chris on “Heel.” Further exploration even turned up features from Chris Crack and Kool Keith, leaving me feeling like Rock Abruham is an ill secret I’ve just been let in on.
Why We Like It
The scratch of vinyl needle static and warm instrumental loop of “Teeth” are a trap. The dynamic lures you in for punchlines from Rock Abruham so heavy the bars leave you picking your teeth up off the floor. Take your pick: “I ain’t a pimp, I’m a booking agent / my shit slap, get your woofers caved in” or “You bamas all out of touch like Hall & Oates / I’m like a firefighter, I want all the smoke.” I could go on.
Abruham spits each bar with nonchalant confidence like he can barely be bothered to take the time for you. His punchlines are so sharp because he’s condensed the point to a beveled edge with an efficiency that begets an effortless delivery. He raps the hook, “Everything now is a hoax (yeah) / Me don’t care ‘bout them folks (no) / Me gon’ bust dem teeth down your throat (no),” like he’s just passing through.
The hook also reveals the source of the ambivalence-fueled fire. “Everything is a hoax when you really think about it,” Abruham tells me over email. “At least everything that’s on the tube. Especially the things that are highlighted the most. It’s not about the best product but how hard you can push it and that’s just plain old bullshit.” He’s got a point. The nonchalant confidence that draws me to his cadence is evidence enough that the emcee is well aware of how good he is, but his ambivalence comes from the knowledge that the people who could “put him on” just want to market a product.
Rock Abruham doesn’t rap like he’s looking for a check. He raps like he knows the check should find him. He says it better himself: “Rock Abruham, by now you should know better.” The best thing about “Teeth” is that now I know better.
From Rock Abruham
I’m just never going to conform to what everyone else is doing. I keep my ear to the streets to make sure I don’t do what’s popular. My ear is everything.” – Rock Abruham for CentralSauce
More From Rock Abruham
I can’t recommend Rock Abruham’s back catalog enough. Both his 2018 album, Thank You Very Much, and his 2020 album, From the Mud, are excellent. Follow him @rockabruham on all social platforms to keep up with future releases.
More to Discover
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