ESH & Dox and Meta P get busy

Rhody rhyme time
By CHRIS CONTI  |  November 2, 2011


Don't sleep — the Rhode Island hip-hop scene is flourishing, arguably more than ever. Scores of quality lyricists, beatminers, and turntablists have been manning the indieground trenches around these parts for years, and now's the time to look up some of these highly-regarded rhymeslingers. Did you pick up Big Rush's Clean & Sober? Did you cop DirtyDurdie's excellent Rhymanese Diner? Have you caught up with Juan Deuce? How about the latest full-length from Zumo Kollie? Hell, we even had a Swann Notty sighting or two this year!

I cannot recall a time where venues have been more inviting to local emcees and rap music fans on a weekly basis: CR the Beast just locked up Open Format Thursdays at new the Olneyville spot Fête Lounge, and weekly hip-hop showcases pop up all over, from the Rhino Bar (Newport) to the Sunset Grille (North Providence), and the Thursday night throwdowns at the Apartment with DJ Sterbyrock (still doing his thing on 90.3 FM) and party host Meta P or Metaphysics.

Meta P (nee Sean Sbardella) has been on the move all year long, having just released Edison's Ink, which was inspired by his love of horror movies (look up "Dead Man's Party," where Meta incorporates about 75 horror movie references). Edison's Ink follows up Back to the Future from earlier this year, as well as his official 2010 debut Off the Rock. Meta included that album's standout cut "Heart Attack" on his latest.

"Edison's Ink is most definitely a concept album," Meta told me earlier this week. "I am definitely a horror fan and fascinated with the supernatural, and since death is has always been so prevalent in hip-hop, I believe it's the perfect marriage."

DJ Remedy, Sterby, and 8th Wundah all chipped in (and a shout to the team at Gritty Arts for the ill artwork), as well as the aforementioned, ever-elusive Swann Notty, who slays on "RI Reds" (Meta P just released a video for the track).

"Swann was the nail in the coffin on this track, and we buried it," he said.

Meta P plans on working the East Coast this winter behind Edison's Ink, while obsessively honing his lyrical craft:

"Picking up a pen for the first time is the best and worst day of your life."

META P + NITE ENDERZ | Saturday, November 19 @ 9 pm | JR Bean's, 1 State St, Bristol | 21+ | 401.253.7526 |

Longtime reps of veteran crews Labeless Illtelligence and Poorly Drawn People respectively, lyricist ESH the Monolith and producer Dox drop one of the best releases of the year with The Invisible EP. The video for first single "Bored Games" is as entertaining as the track itself, with ESH announcing he's the "last of a dying breed of archival activists" and a callback chorus shout of "I'm so bored of the same ol' shit!" Labeless overseer Cas-Uno (who just released a remix of his Sticks Out Like a Sore Thumb LP) delivers his trademark blunted bombast on "Sardo Numspa." And the furious cut "Soap Scum" begs for a few rewinds when ESH tears through his creative punchlines. Provy native ESH has relocated to Allston, currently working on another solo release as well as a compilation album, Loop Minded Individuals, with longtime Labeless collaborator DJ Intrikit. And Dox remains on the scene, often spinning at Downcity spots like the Salon and Local 121, where the duo will lead a 10-inch vinyl release party for The Invisible EP. Get there.

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  Topics: Music Features , Music, Providence, rap,  More more >
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