Chase Manhattan’s Red Skin In A Black & White World is raw energy
Thursday, October 14 2010
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Chase Manhattan’s two recent CD’s qualify as bike riding music, as the material stands on its own in mirror reflection of the city streets that I ride. These streets on the south side of Minneapolis. Manhattan does that with his material and he does it well.
In track three Buggin Out on the first of two CD’s Redskin In A Black And White World, Chase speaks to his writing when he says, “I don’t trust my neighbors, I just focus on my paper.”
Track four Twin Cities Bounce one of the stronger songs is representing for our city. This young rapper keeps the spare sound of old school rap here and it sounds and feels like the south side.
The eighth track Low Key lyric goes “yeah, I’m stayin’ low key, when I roll streets, smokin’ dope G’s, makin’ OD, yeah I smoke weed, drinkin’ OE, f*** the Po-leese, wuzzit gon be?” Hey it’s a contemporary lifestyle isn’t it?
Track ten Chump Change is another very strong piece that talks about workin’ for the small money or coppin’ a plea, dropping a dime in return for a shorter sentence. When Chase’s lyric says “California Chump Change” he’s dissin’ the west coast rappers/hip-hoppers for sellin’ out to Hollywood. Hah, take that LA; the Minne-apple is in you face.

After a cool intro groove Chase’s CD Backside begins with For My Natives, and you better write a song in honor of those that came before, this one is a contemporary Native American history lesson. It includes a traditional style drum with a voice-over that sounds like a powwow announcer.
Track nine Imma Get Paid, consisting of a very hot funky beat intro, nice piano stuff and heavy bass, is a good thing to give the listener. You better pay attention to this one, as Chase nails it when he says emphatically, “Imma get paid, do my thang every day, chillin’ in the summer in the shade, grillin’ up some steaks, eyes glazed, rollin’ hays and the beer by the case, my system bangs, I’m switchin’ lanes on the highway, I ain’t never gon change, Imma stay the same, paper by chase around the state of ten thousand lakes,” He uses local ojibway slang (Ho-Wa! Boozhoo) to emphasize the point.
I like track twelve Roll Up a whole bunch. Wrap that blunt and fire it up. An arrival. “He rolled up in a brand new royal blue Escalade.” This song features a competent sound efx intro and a spare almost traditional drumbeat with some wood blocks. Spare sound for a first CD or two is good. Raw energy is what I look for in first works. There is plenty of it in these two works by the young up and cummer!
Chase finishes the Backside CD with L’n’dis or Lovin’ this.  This is a good ending to this CD. This brutha is straight, since unless you absolutely love it there’s no reason to do it because the dues you’ve got to pay are so high.  The only way to endure the challenges the music biz will throw at you is for the artist to have deep passion for the craft of making a joyful noise. This is also an indication again of how the new technology is affecting this society with the text message style of title.
I dig the spareness of the music. I am of the minimalist school of appreciation. Less is almost always more. This music is broken down to the basics. Synthesizer keys, beats over a thumpin’ bass line that backs lyricism that engages a persons notions of contemporary Native history and the connection to the African American community.  
We all know that Native people have been gangsta since 1492 out of the necessity for survival and the care of our little ones. Chase is just continuing a longstanding tradition of not copping out by taking a warrior poet position on the high ground.  
This is not Chase Manhattan’s last stand.  I know there’s more where this came from.  
For more info on Chase Manhattan, see:

Jamison Mahto, Spirit Bear Productions, Rezz Dogg Reviews, This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

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