Friday, August 20, 2010

VT Union - "The VT Union Is Dead" (LP) *{Bostonianz617 Review}*


01. Itz VT (feat. Dakota)
02. Luv That (feat. Nastee, Manus & Dakota)
03. Make Rume (feat. Dakota, Malice, Nastee & Bobby Konders)
04. All Goes Down (feat. Nastee)
05. This Is Me (feat. Dakota & Sean Price)
06. My Nutsac (feat. Colby Stiltz & Dakota)
07. Nobody (feat. Dakota)
08. All About (feat. Manus, B-Free & S.I.N.)
09. Pop Off (feat. Dakota, Manus & Nastee)
10. Memories (feat. Dakota)
11. All My Dogz (feat. Nastee)
12. Stand The Rain (feat. Akrobatik & BURNTmd)
13. Make Rume (Statik Selektah Remix)

We were recently hit up by Coalmine Records to give our 2 cents on the newest (and possibly last) release from Vermont's VT Union, "The VT Union Is Dead" LP. Being primarily a Boston based blog, we felt it was only fitting to review a fellow New England based project, especially from a state that isn't paticularly known for getting much shine in the hip hop world. In case you didn't know (I'll admit, I didn't either) "The VT Union are the Vermont based, triple-threat crew of hip-hop purists that are comprised of its core members Dakota (MC), DJ Adog & Nastee (MC/DJ/Producer/Engineer)." The crew has been putting out both group, and solo efforts rather steadily now since their first mixtape which dropped back in 2006. It seems they have been at the epi-center of the Burlington hip hop scene for a few years now, with this LP culminating their latest and final effort appropriately titled "The VT Union Is Dead." Not quite sure why the crew is calling it quits, but with this release it's evident they want their name remembered amongst the elite to ever rock in the state of Vermont.

To be honest, when I first saw that the Union were a hip hop group from Vermont I was a bit skeptical. I don't recall hearing anything hip hip related come out of Vermont EVER for that matter, and from experience seem to have a strong perception that most music coming from the state is predominatly crunchy, jam band oriented, hippie banter ... but I must say it was rather refreshing to hear something totally different from the group. For the most part, The Union stayed in their own lane for the majority of the LP. Touching on subject matter that I'm sure defines their experiences living in VT. They discuss the obvious partying, mountains, blunts, girls, dirty back roads, gun-racks, & 12 packs. Self proclaimed "country bumpkins", the Union embrace the VT stereotypes but also break the mold, touching on more traditional main-stream hip hop subject matter like the struggles of coming up in the world, good and evil, the frustrations of making it as aspiring artists, etc.

I feel like some of the features on the album Malice (Clipse), Sean Price, Akrobatik, Statik Selektah sort of carry it along, although if you're from the New England area - at the very least, this should be a definite download. Not something I would necessarily keep in heavy rotation, but definetly worthy of getting some spins. As mentioned, the high points on the album are mostly the tracks which have outside features. I love the record with Akrobatik, "Stand The Rain" while tracks like "My Nutsac" failed to bring about any real profound message and for the most part lacked any real musical relevance for me. All in all a solid effort from the VT Union, ultimately looking like they were able to accomplish what they set out to do with this one; putting Vermont on the map.

Standout Tracks: Make Rume, This Is Me, All My Dogz, Stand The Rain.

Not So Great: Luv That, My Nutsac,

Beats & Production: 7.5/10
Rhymes & Lyricism: 7/10
Originality & Creativity: 7/10
Overall Grade: B-

VT Union - "The VT Union Is Dead" LP: DOWNLOAD

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