“I would rather have Playdough come and write my rhymes” raps Fred B on his sophomore release Hold Music… Hmm… See, once upon a time rap fans had pressed through the rumor mill that Fred B’s Deepspace Dallas partner in rhyme, and close family friend Playdough, was penning his raps. Could it have been the eerily similar taste in production and song concepts between the two or simply the fact that back in the early days of PC the skill level separating the two emcees was black and white, no pun intended. Well, to answer the question, simply put: WHO FREAKING CARES?!
That was than and this is now as Hold Music is the mark of a much different Freddie Bruno from that of the PC Tools and The Ballpoint Composer era, circa late 90’s/early 2000. Fred B has an attitude and swagger about him that was void on his early work, that alone making Hold Music a must-hear for fans of Mr. Bruno, PC or DS5.
I remember back in 2003, when I was with FEED, Fred B and I had spoke about his ‘new’ record Hold Music that was set to drop later that year. Needless to say, Hold Music was… well, put on ‘hold’ until now, 2007, and Fred wasted no time in telling the people just exactly what “Hold Music” is on the album opener. There is a mellow-laid back vibe that screams “underground” throughout the 15 tracks on the album. “Can’t Get Through” (produced by Playdough) and “Miraculous” (self-produced) are solid opening tracks, worthy of the rewind button on your iPod. While Playdough comes along for the ride on “Maybe Tomorrow”, another well-polished narrative of broke emcees not getting the shine they deserve. “Chasing Rainbows” is a beautiful, melodic ode to being yourself and all of Fred B’s ‘true hip-hop’ inspirations, while “Plight of the Composer” is a Beat Rabbi-induced call of motivation through the everyday struggle called life. Freddie chooses an interesting song concept with “Evil My Pen Do”, sharing his heart about, well, sharing his heart maybe too much… or maybe not enough…? Goes the chorus:
“no matter what I stand for these legs could stand more
these arms could hold more, this heart could care more
I share more than less I probably meant to
it’s cause and effect of the evil my pen do”
Alas, like Deepspace teammates Mars ILL and their drawn-out episode with ProPain, it is hard to justify if 4 years is literally ‘worth the wait’ of Hold Music, ProPain, or darn near any record. That without saying, Hold Music is a solid piece of art from Fred B and perhaps more so than that, it is a staple and measure of vast growth. Few fillers (“Spearmint”, “Regular Maintenance”) aside, an album undoubtedly worth listening for any fan of DS5, PC or Mr. Bruno himself. Let’s just hope that Hold Music marks the end of the Deepspace curse, that we may get accustomed to hearing new music from the camp much more often.
Release Date: May 1 2007
Record Label: Illect Recordings
2. Can't Get Through
4. Hearts of the Fallen
5. Maybe Tomorrow feat. Playdough
6. Regular Maintenance feat. Sivion
8. Chasing Rainbows
9. From the Desk of Sivion
10. Plight of the Composer
11. Ur Everything feat. Sintax the Terrific
12. Evil My Pen Do
13. Move Along
14. Sermon H20