Rise and grind

Meta P, John Gotem, and Mayhem bring the ruckus as Poison Man
By CHRIS CONTI  |  October 16, 2013

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"WE WANT IT ALL!" Meta P, Gotem, and Mayhem.

West Barrington-bred lyricist Meta P has never been one to mince words, whether on the mic or on the record.

“Together we are a local supergroup, and I have no problem saying that,” declares Sean Sbardella, aka Meta P (short for Metaphysics) while plugging a forthcoming collaborative titled Poison Man, with fellow wordsmith Mayhem and acclaimed turntablist DJ John Gotem. The newly-minted trio will drop their self-titled full-length debut album this weekend and will headline a record release party at Simon’s 677. Sbardella sent over a rough mix of Poison Man earlier this week and, as expected, it hits hard. Mayhem and Meta grind out grown-man rap bars while Gotem’s wizardry behind the tables recalls the good ole days of ’90s era boom-bap. Poison Man will be available free of charge (!) starting this weekend at metap.bandcamp.com.

Veteran emcee and recent Boston transplant Mayhem (Charles Imafidon) initially reached out to Meta to jump on a song for his planned solo record but, according to Sbardella, “the track came out so dope we ended up brainstorming for an EP.” Their combined creative energy led to a full album, and the final piece of the puzzle arrived with renowned cut creator (and Woonsocket resident) Gotem, who recently placed sixth in the country in the legendary DMC DJ Championships.

“I knew we needed somebody who had all the facets of the art mastered, and John Gotem’s name was buzzing at the time, so I reached out, and he was down to build,” Sbardella recalled. “Gotem is a battling beast and a master of the multi-track.”

Although full-time day jobs often prevented the trio from working and creating in the same room together, the chemistry is undeniable.

“Mayhem records at his crib, I record at [Chachi Carvalho’s] Beatbox Studio in Pawtucket, and Gotem records in his nerdy DJ den, but it seemed to work effectively,” said Sbardella, whose 9-5 gig as a pharmaceutical rep recently allowed him to relocate from the New Hampshire border to Fall River. He is now closer to his Barrington homestead, where mother Janice (and dog Nala) still reside. You may recall Sbardella having lost his twin sister Lindsey to a rare heart condition last year at age 28, and penned a touching tribute song called “Dragonfly (My Other Heartbeat).”

Poison Man opens with DJ John Gotem’s chop-socky skills on full display, followed by the first single, “Measure Up,” which also happens to be the first song the duo wrote together. Well-aware of Meta’s horror movie obsession (look up his solo albums Off the Rock and Edison’s Ink, also available for free DL), the video is pretty fucking bananas as anticipated. “I’m beautiful and ominous” says Meta on “Armageddon,” followed by Mayhem’s impressive rapid-fire flow. Meta gives the Gas Face on “Lean On Me,” declaring “people outgrowin’ each other like overbites.” Gotem hits the decks hard on “Vicious Storm” and “Why Lie,” and both lyricists excel atop the grimy drums on “Winter.” Sbardella recorded another gem for his sister, titled “Here For You,” and on “Hard Line” he sneers, “My sister lost her heartbeat, I won’t hesitate to stop yours.” Another personal favorite is the final track, “Most Good,” with Gotem slicing up Run-DMC on the hook while Meta P calmly states, “I been through the hell, no need to follow the rain/Please show me sunshine for the sorrow and pain.”

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