by Chad Beck
Two MCs and one DJ, getting down in an old school way. Fort Wayne’s own Third Frame designed their debut CD in the model of their heroes (like Too Short and early Cypress Hill). Simple as hell, leaving little apart from the words for you to ponder over in your head. Unlike the long line of rap/rock outfits that dominates the usual “white boy” hip-hop scene, Third Frame go way back in time. There are no live guitars or drums on this nine-song bad boy.
Primitive drum tracks and frugal synth lines pulsate gently underneath the flow of MC Ry-Guy and Deluxe with very little else to get in the way. The music comes courtesy of DJ Jack Akshun, one of the area’s more energetic and humorous spinners.
Akshun spruces up cuts like “Bombin’ It” and “Zone” with playful, unidentifiable noises and rib-ticklin’ samples hearkening back to rap’s innocent days. The beats here aren’t designed to shatter new boundaries; instead they rest easily in the most elementary patterns.
Function over fashion, apparently. Old-schoolers will drool over Akshun’s style, others will be itching for the modern sound.
More “goofy” than “gangster,” Third Frame’s two MCs relish mostly good times over bad. They are the quintessential party-rappers, avoiding politics and self-reflection all-together. Some tunes (like the hilarious “Yo Girl” and “Noice”) are unrepentant in their one liners, while others (“Numzayin” and “Mic Check”) prefer to be less obvious with their silliness. Both Ry-Guy and Deluxe deliver the goods on the mic, displaying fancy wordplay and tongue twistin’ antics.
Unlike several current hitmakers, these two MCs sound comfortable in their roles — sputtering out verbal jigsaw puzzles with riddle-like charm. Third Frame lack the sonic bombast that is blowing up radio at the moment, but fans of old-school rhymin’ and stealin’ should find this release refreshing.
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