Grey Matter consists of Illustrate and TEMPERMENTAL. One MC and one producer. It's a formula that allows each member to showcase their individual craft and allows their music to maintain a consistent vibe.
The Problem EP is a focused effort, with Illustrate touching on the issues of his personal life. He gets my vote as one of the most aptly named emcees in the game. His writing style turns phrases into subtle, thought provoking patterns, relating universal issues through anecdotal strife. Illustrate speaks on economic and relationship woes, and other every-man issues, with delicate words that zero in on the problem without preaching a tired gospel.
On “Strange Times” he raps, “I'm thinking about going to the bank and emptying my savings, Holmes / But something tells me, 'Naw cool it, go and save it, Holmes' / I can't save my home / Getting forclosed on / Can't afford the gas, let alone a car to roll on.” Later he speaks on our collective regrets for not spending before the recession through the glam of rap life, “At 24 I came into some loot, and what I did? / I did the smart thing, went out and bought a crib / I shoulda bought a chain / I shoulda bought a whip / I shoulda made it rain on some women, while they would strip / But I Spike Lee'ed it / Did the right thing, not the wrong thing / Now in retrospect I feel the right thing was the wrong thing at the time.”
As some hip hop music hums along to the allusion of an ongoing good life of popping bottles with models in stretch Tahoes, Illustrate keeps it grounded. Respect is due to emcees who are willing and capable of speaking for the people with real problems.
The Problem EP features six tracks taken from the upcoming debut album coming soon on Domination Recordings.
The Problem EP track listing:
01 Strange Times
02 The Kickboxer
03 Same Old Story
05 Its All Included
06 The Problem