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Music: Lethal Dose

An unique Hip Hop collaboration makes it to the live arena for a rare Playhouse show

By Swarthy · March 15th, 2001 · Music
  Boom Bip
Boom Bip

"With Circle, my original intention was to use every single genre I could think of," says local DJ Boom Bip (Bryan Hollon) of his acclaimed album with former University of Cincinnati student, current rapper/lyricist extraordinaire Doseone (Adam Drucker). "I wanted a Country song on there. I wanted a something like Classical. Rock, Hip Hop, Jazz. I knew that (Doseone) was definitely capable of doing whatever with his voice. His voice is just ... it's an instrument, you know."

Boom Bip offered this quote recently when asked to describe Circle, a 29-track smart bomb he released last year with Doseone on Mush Records. He's right on both counts: Circle is as multi-elemental as Hip Hop gets, and Doseone is plenty capable of delivering what he dreams. And he dreams a lot.

On Monday evening at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Boom Bip, Why? and Doseone (who now resides in the Bay Area) will perform selections from Circle as part of alteractive, the city's newest performance series.

Expect to see more experimental music aficionados and Indie rockers than Hip Hop fans in the seats around you. Circle could be described as the Last Poets and Gil Scott-Heron taking on Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band's Trout Mask Replica. It's just that Boom Bip and Doseone have a supply of skill and noise so endless, it could make Don Van Vliet and the late Frank Zappa chortle. Even those who don headphones for listening will run nonstop to keep up with this CD, as early as the second track ("the bird catcher"). Live in a theater, this should be serious fun. Doseone is just too far along before we realize he's just rhymed "shipinabottle" with "anotherboyinabubble."

Not that the urban music has ignored Boom Bip and Doseone. Thomas Quinlan of Urb wrote of Circle: "Doseone impresses with yet another fantastic release, this time with electronic artist Boom Bip punching the buttons on the sampler. Dose expresses his poetic yearnings in a variety of styles over Bip's tripped-out beats, which are composed of telephone bells, fire alarms and music boxes, amongst other things ... Circle has something most albums miss: atmosphere."

I made a similar comment to Boom Bip about an organic sound quality that helps unite Circle, which also racked up accolades from The New York Times, in which it was named one of the "Worthwhile Albums of 2000 Most People Missed."

"The reason Circle sounds the way it does is I used the turntable to play a lot of the stuff," Bip says. "I didn't sample it, sequence it and put it out. I just played it live and recorded over top of it. If I found a horn stab, or a keyboard stab, or whatever, I just took the turntable. When it came to that point, I would just play it and record it. (Circle has) a lot of layers like that."

Doseone's appearances onstage with Reflection Eternal (aka Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek) and Black Star haven't hurt his MC cred. Not so long ago, Dose (who now resides in the Bay area) also advanced to the semis of the 1997 Scribble Jam, a tournament for MCs and other Hip Hop artists held in Cincinnati. Here he battled the then-unknown Eminem/Slim Shady/Marshall Mathers. All Boom Bip did was get his name in Spin for being one of the world's finest DJs.

And while I'm on the subject of Spin, did you catch Doseone in Spin's August issue? It was, oddly enough, the one with Eminem on the cover.

Doseone, Boom Bip and Why? perform at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park on Monday. For ticket info, call 513-421-3888 or check cincyplay.com.



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