Hi-Tek : Hi-Teknology

A roll-call of Rawkus greats feature on Hi-Tek's debut solo album...

The featured talent reads like a Rawkus all-stars line up, with production that takes independent hiphop soul to a new place. Hi-Tek first touched down as Talib Kweli’s back-up on ‘Reflection Eternal’, and has himself begun tagging on the hiphop production wall of fame with this, his solo debut ‘Hi-Teknology’.

From the first track ‘Scratch Rapping’ you know it’s a good album. The almost boring tightness of Common and the sweetness of Vinia Mojica on ‘Sun God’ reassuringly demonstrates the skill that’s yet to come. ‘Breakin’ Bread’, featuring Donte, Main Flow, Brian Digby Jr., and Crunch, provides the ultimate head nod with grit between the teeth and a hoody. While the ‘machinegun funk’-sounding ‘All I Need Is You’ rates high as one of the strongest amongst this most fat collection, the sugar in this sweet is provided by the vocals of Jonell with contrasting grit courtesy of Cormega.

Vocalistics reach a new height with featured females Mojica and new hotty Jonell who’s also on the soon-to-be-released single ‘Round & Round’, another strong contender for ‘best track’. Unmistakable jazz guitar bites, Jill Scott-style vocab, heavyweight kicks and surprisingly no rap. Nonetheless it’s hard not to like it.

The Jedi mind trick, however, can be found on the Mos Def joint ‘Get Ta Steppin”, where Mos and Vinia harmonize perfectly on a hypnotic bass-heavy ballad. Hi-Tek’s partner Talib Kweli puts it down on ‘Theme From Hi-Tek’ and ‘Get Back Pt. II’, and while it kinda blends into the wallpaper on this album, it still represents. Bucktown’s own Buckshot also puts it down on ‘The Illest It Gets’ with a fresh new flow with lines like, [I]”You see Buck, you tree’s in the air, breeze in a chair, tied up screaming for air”[/I].

On the whole it’s an album that cannot be missed, surprisingly on point in everyway. ‘Hi-Teknology’ shows the future of hiphop is full of promise.