Shaw Calhoune is a rapper from Maryland who has recently blessed us with his new 9 track album, “The Rudy Tape”. The rapper, known for his heavy hitting bars and boom bap production, enlists the help of some very cool samples from the late, great Rudy Ray Moore, himself. From start to finish, this tape is sprinkled with sound bites of the Godfather of Rap.
“Rudy Moore” is the second track on the project and Shaw delivers a special performance. Several different flows and multi syllable rhyme schemes over production that has you feeling like going for a cruise in a Coupe Deville. This beat is menacing, gritty and gangster. The perfect way to start this project.
“Henny Bottles” is a future classic. Minimal percussion, but a super lush bass laced with a string section and some keys. This is whiskey and cigar music. Shaw’s flow is consistent on this song, reminiscent of a Rick Ross vibe as he uses his lyricism to embody the character of the 70’s pimp, Dolemite. Yes, as far as concept albums go, this is truly impressive.
“Changing of The Guard” is another stand out. That sax was among my favourite moments in this entire project. Again, this one isn’t heavy on the percussion. But it is big on the horns and the woodwind sections. This gives Shaw Calhoune the opportunity to smoothly ride over the beat, playing with different rhyme schemes and seamlessly switching flows. His gritty delivery gives this song a heavy presence without the need for a hard hitting kick.
If you love samples, boom bap, clever rhyme schemes, story telling lyricism and concept projects; then this is the album you have been waiting for! I am honestly pretty happy that this was the first album that I got to review for the year. Shaw Calhoune has set the bar nice and high. This project had a consistent cadence to it that I haven’t heard in a while. Calhoune used vocal samples from Rudy Moore to really bring everything together and the story telling was masterful. Follow him on Instagram: @shaw_thegreat