Monday, February 13, 2006

when in rome...

shots to the dome?

When I lived in Rome I used to bug out that the pimply faced young caribinieri (Rome’s ‘special’ security) carried machine guns… Here in The Big Orange we’ve become somewhat accustomed to seeing folk kicking it outside of our public byways but seeing some scrawny Italian youngster looking bored with a machine gun always made me nervous. ‘Regular’ Roman police would hop on the buses to check tickets. That was the closest I came to a brush with ‘Romes finest’ in the old town. In other words, I rarely bought a ticket. I’d take the bus with my peoples out to this little bar that would spin hip-hop. The resident DJ would yell ‘Brooklyn!’ when we walked in the door since he knew that’s where we had traveled from. He would always throw on The Beasties ‘No Sleep ‘Til…’ and we appreciated it.

When I saw the name “Rome’s Finest” on my DJ Folk mixtape I didn’t even know there was a ‘Rome’ in Georgia. So I can honestly say, these kids, at least for me, put Rome on the US map.

When I first hear a ‘new’ MC I inevitably compare the voice to another well-known rapper. Comparisons of Shyne’s voice to Biggie now seem silly. And, more recently, I couldn’t help but compare the ad-libs and calm flow of Jody Breeze to T.I. But now I realize Jody is influencing a whole new crop of MCs. The Rome’s Finest group is not quite as assured but I can hear the particular pronunciation that I associate with Young Breezy. I can also hear the professionalism in their verses and in their interaction with the beats. It’s not quite consistent but it’s enough to make me take notice. Their association with Big KRIT can only be a plus since he is a few steps ahead with cadence, hooks and tone (more on KRIT soon).

From the handful of tracks here I think it’s safe to say that they’ve already earned a spot in Rome’s pantheon of MCs but I’m looking forward to them taking a shot at the rest of Georgia’s upper echelon.

Note: I swear, the coincidence of one of ‘Rome’s’ MC names was revealed to me after I heard them rap!

All joints by Rome’s Finest (featured MCs listed):
Rio & Terry - Okay
Dirty, Rio & Terry – Bravehearts (prod. K.R.I.T.)
Terry, Cross & Dirty– Not A Game
Rio – Freestyle
Terry, Dirty & Rio – So High

(You can listen to these tracks and more at their isound page)