Kalifla’s 5’s and Dimes (A Music Review)

Today I went to the Fair Grounds and had an interesting adventure. Between the usual wares and the people selling pirated music I found a gem, I met Otisha and LB who were both working on a tour to promote their music. I went ahead and picked up a CD, though I’d had to head back to the house because I hadn’t brought enough money with me and I’d bought something already. They weren’t asking a lot but I felt I should give them more than a dollar for their hard work. I wish I could’ve given more than I did.

Before I review the music I want to talk about the people. Not only are they very friendly but when we were talking I enjoyed the intelligence that they both held. We talked about Jazz, despite the CD I am reviewing being Hip Hop and Rap. Some one who is a regular on this blog just burst out laughing as they read that but I actually do listen to a lot of rap, I just tend to move away from Mainstream and especially avoid Gangsta because of the often abusive lyrics.

I am not going to discuss the sociological issues with this CD, but instead I am going to talk about the music. This is because as a mainstream hip hop CD with an attempt at a break out these musicians are going to be singing in ways that are derogatory about women and I expect a lot of internalized racism. I have other posts about that, and I knew going in that there wasn’t likely to be much beyond what I perceive as the norm for this genre.

This is where I was surprised. SHARON’S BOYZ MUSIQ GROUP Presents Kalifla’s Five and Dimes Volumn #2 has some standard beats. The lyrics themselves are given with great talent. The harmonies are solid. I do think the group should invest in a better synthesizer as often the synth defeats them by sounding cheap. Their voices are rich and pleasing. This shows most on the song that for me stood out from the rest. This song is special in that it isn’t about women, it isn’t about sex, it isn’t about money, but it is one of the best love songs I have ever heard. I don’t like most love songs but when your love song is dedicated to your children and is essentially a lullabye that you share with them and the world so that they know you love them even as you travel to try and work? That sort of song is awesome. I wish I could tell you what it is called by the CD doesn’t come up when I hunt for it’s data online and doesn’t have a track listing.

This leads me to the challenge of presentation with a CD such as this. While the music is quality I believe that the producers would benefit from using CD Baby (CDBaby.com) to add more of an internet presence for their artists. This service also includes online sales, and being added to ITunes as well as the general CD Database which is where Media player gets the CD track information from. CD Baby also can provide you with CD production services, though depending on the size of the group this may not be worth it. The CD came in a jewel case with a good cover, though again the cover could benefit from someone like myself who can alter the photo values and make it look on the quality of the bigger groups. This adds to the professionalism.

Would I recommend this CD to my friends? That depends… do you enjoy Hiphop? Yes? Then absolutely. Do I think that there is room for improvement? Yes. Out of five stars here are my ratings:

Music Quality: 3.5, a half is definitely lost to the rough synth sounds.
Music Originality: 3 (This means it’s average with in the industry)
CD Sound Quality: 4.5
CD Presentation: 2

I do think that this group has the potential to succeed in the music industry, and by doing the foot work to build a fan base they adding to their own success. With Books and Music you must reach out and get the word out that you exist.

Their Myspace Page

I was told that they are having a concert on July 3rd, the details SHOULD be present on this page. If they aren’t and you want to attend please let me know and I will find out the exact details for you. I also want to add that when I mentioned I would review the CD the response was “I look forward to reading your review no matter what it is.” So good or bad, the producers and this group are out for people to hear them, another sign for their longevity.

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