Classics You May Have Missed: Blue Scholars – Bayani

It’s interesting to see how popular and successful Macklemore is lately. I remember back when I first found out about Macklemore, it was through these guys, the Blue Scholars. Back before they dwindled in activity I was like a die-hard fan of the Blue Scholars, checkin up on their singles and anticipating “Cinematropolis” and all of that. If you listen to this album, you’ll see why I liked these guys so much. I honestly feel Sabzi is one of the most talented producers in the game. Geo also has this great socio-political subject matter to the majority of his songs. When paired together these guys make one of the best producer-MC duos of all time, especially in the newer age of the music.

This album doesn’t have a bad song on it, and has several excellent songs. The album starts off very strong, not in the sound or like shock factor like other artists do, but in the cultural and very forward expression of self. They have no problem STARTING an album off with a prayer that I believe is of Persian religion. Then the intro song, “Opening Salvo”, Prometheus Brown (Geo’s other name) talks about those touchy socio-political issues that I was talking about. Furthermore, you can feel the chemistry and the united composure of the album through the music. In “Still Got Love” the trombone twangs seem like they ring out at the perfect timing. The other songs follow suit, too. Such is to be expected from an album called “Bayani” (Bayani is a word in the languages of both Geo and Sabzi’s native cultures).

Though the MC of this crew’s forte is his aforementioned subject matter, he doesn’t fall short of having good cadence and flow. Though his flow is usually pretty standard and doesn’t get too technical, he occasionally turns it up impressively. Like in the song, “Bayani”, he says:

“The wicked waged war

in the desert terrain

twenty-four short bars

couldn’t measure the pain”

#*1* El-P Cancer 4 Cure + Honorable Mentions

I also can’t stress enough how intense the messages in his songs are. Just one example is “Fire for the People” where he rallies people to break down societal barriers and sheds light on things like media-related control. “Back Home” is a song about ending the war in Afganistan and well… bringing the soldiers home. The Seattle MC carries imagery in his words, too. Prometheus Brown is a heavily talented rapper who makes it a point to elevate people’s minds to specific issues in his music.

Sabzi is equally as talented in his field of producing music. All the songs on this album were just so amazingly well made and soulful, but not soulful in a genre-specific way, they just touch your heart and feelings a certain way. The background crooning and piano matches the compassionate message of “Back Home” so well, and that’s only one example. “Bayani” uses a bunch of different sounds in its instrumental and builds up to the drop flawlessly, the drop containing a glorious melody. The “Fire for the People” has a heavy marching style beat that matches the rally cry lyrics. If you listen to any of Sabzi’s beats you’ll know he’s a beast bsaet baset baest.

This album is an album that I feel has been criminally underrated and not widely listened to, so I had to make a post about it. The fountain of talent bursting out of this is awesome to say the least. Woop swag.


2 thoughts on “Classics You May Have Missed: Blue Scholars – Bayani

  1. This album was the first I checked out by these guys. I still remember being blown away by the sample on Second Chapter. I wasn’t even producing yet so I can definitely count Sabzi as an inspiration.

    I agree that this album is an unsung classic. Wish there more groups willing to tow the socio-political rap line like these guys.


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