If there is one thing the New Jersey Hip-Hop scene is lacking its fresh and innovative up and coming artists. An emcee that looks to change all of that is Outthere, the self proclaimed "freshest New Jeruz resident". Outthere has slowly gained himself a buzz in the independent scene the past year or so, especially in New Jeruz, due to his intense work ethic and commitment. The hardworking emcee is no stranger to the Hip-Hop game, as his history runs deep, only now to start getting the recognition he deserves. Back once again after a short hiatus, Outthere once again displays why is he indeed New Jeruz freshest up and coming emcee with his newest LP "You Still Here?".
Growing up in Hip-Hop's Golden Era in the late 80's, Outthere is definitely a product of this time. He combines insightful yet intelligent lyricism, with tales of life and reality. Outthere is an emcee with a passion for the culture, this is displayed beautifully throughout "You Still Here?", as he puts his heart and soul into every track.
It is indeed those insightful and powerful tales of hardships and struggles that makes "You Still Here?" a memorable experience. "Cold Weather" and "Appreciation" are both in-depth looks into the world of Outthere, depicting the harsh reality of life, as the average person knows it. "Cold Weather" is beautifully done over by Outthere's melodic production, giving it that perfect aura for Outthere, who takes full advantage of it with his standout verse describing the roadblocks of life. "I go up and down, side to side, make me sea sick. Sick of seeing things I can't change, I can't fix. I'm ready for the world but then it switched that quick…my time on this earth is so limited, too many regrets make my heart beat slow".
"Appreciation" is the albums finest cut thanks to one of Outthere's best production efforts. The heartfelt and indepth track is done over masterfully by a beautiful, soulful sample utilized for the hook. The track is dedicated to three parts in Outthere's life, the first verse being geared towards the struggles in his life coming up in the rap game. "From the start to the middle my individual image was criticized from the left to the right. In the beginning I held my head high, didn't see it as wrong…I seemed to be born, to do more than just follow a motto, I made my own. But they just didn't get it, for years I was ignored, or ridiculed for trying to be cool to fit in". The second and third verse is where you truly get to delve into the inner emotion of Outthere, as his heartfelt verses are dedicated to those who have always stayed true through all the trials and tribulations, such as his mother and wife. It is on tracks like "Appreciation" that you truly start to realize Outthere just isn't a lyricist, he is an artist who can paint pictures, speak through his heart and take you into his world as an emcee.
While these types of tracks will attract many to "You Still Here?", Outthere does a nice job of putting some variety into his song making and concepts throughout the album. Some attempts are better than others, but for the most part the album remains consistent. "Okay, Alright" is a more friendly type vibe for the radio that works well. Outthere's funky production provides instant neck jerking action, making you addicted on first listen. However, the tracks hook could use some touching up and reworking, as its catchy but awkward. One of the few minor flaw throughout "You Still Here?" are some of the tracks hooks, which can be solid but need to see some improvement.
Other standout tracks include the reggae flavor of "Many Roads", the serene sounds of "Nit Drivin" and "Till Your Gone" featuring Dirty Bert. "Till Your Gone" is once again proof that Outthere's production is just as fresh as his lyricism. But it's the tracks insightful and powerful lyricism that makes it one of the finer moments seen on the album. While "You Still Here" follows a very similar pattern throughout its entirety, not swaying too far away from its mold, "The Main Event II" breaks that as its an all out lyrical battle featuring some of New Jeruz finest up and coming emcees. Each emcee tears up the mic with intense lyricism and hunger, giving this group collaboration a true hard-core underground feel. It's obvious that Outthere is more than a battle lyricist buts attempts like this fit in nice with the album's flow, as it just knocks you on your face the first listen. Hopefully in the future we can expect more attempts like this, given "The Main Event II's" success.
Outthere definitely spices the album up with tracks such as "The Main Event II", however, at times other concepts on the album end up a little stale and boring. "Outthere's battle with writers block on "The W.B." was a nice idea, but didn't come off as well as it could have. On the production side the tracks vocal sample is awkwardly placed and gets irritating after a couple listens. The only other noticeable misstep comes from the generic playa tales of "Where I Stand". While not a bad track, the concept has been done before and just sounds forced.
As with any album, flaws are bound to appear. However, Outthere has cut down on such occurrences making "You Still Here?" almost completely solid all around. Outthere is definitely an emcee that has worked hard at his craft and has paid his dues. This effort definitely shows throughout "You Still Here?", as the Jersey emcee displays a distinct sound on the mic, along with his own production behind the boards, which is not to be overlooked. While Outthere still has a long road to climb, he definitely deserves to be recognized. Besides a few notable flaws, I highly suggest you look into Outthere's "You Still Here?". Outthere isn't going to hit you over the head with out of this world lyricism, but he represents a true to life sound that everybody can relate to. He speaks his life through his pen and you have to appreciate something like that. And as he says himself, "I may be down now but I have a bright future", indeed. For more information on Outthere visit www.njmp3.com