HI FIDEL - FF EXPRESS: The Company of Wolves (2007)

We've reviewed plenty of stuff in the last two years, and we've done plenty of music, with the lion's share done by Scott. A musician in his own right, with his very wide musical tastes, he can review just about anything with some semblance of a beat. We randomly get invited to review some hip-hop album a few months back, and of course, Scott's up, and we hear all we ever wanted to know about Nato Caliph.

Today, we have a problem- of sorts. Scott, our Armchair music expert has a pile of CD's to review already, and we're being invited to review some more hip-hop. My musical interests are more narrowly focused on more traditional folk and rock. Heck, most of my stuff is more classic rock, and if I write a review of Hi-Fidel's latest CD, it's going to start and end with "hip-hop's not my cup of tea," which is hardly fair to the artist.

This is what I was sent over about the artist and the album:

FF Express is leaving the station! Hi-Fidel collabs, ones again, with his partner in crime, F5 founder DJ Crucial. This full length album is the first from Hi-Fidel since the days of "Traveling b/w St. Louis and Chicago" (2001). With a new sound and a new atmosphere to breathe in, Hi-Fidel is well on the way of achieving his intergalactic mission: "live free and get rich." The first single, "Isobel and Future," produced by DJ Crucial, is worth the anticipation sought by true fans. An evolution of hotness, Fidel's rhyme skills never diminish, and he receives lyrical push ups from F5 extended family Serengeti, Black Spade (OM Records) and Pigeon John (Quannom), among others.

"FF Express: The Company of Wolves" is a testament to Hi Fidel's progressive rhyme styling and lyrical word schemes, which allows the listener to join in on the journey though time and space and benefit from the destination.

On Fidel's personal travels, from his home town of Chicago to his new residence of Los Angeles, he has made stops everywhere from St. Louis to Osaka. A truly global emcee with a viewpoint and sound to back it up, one would be hard pressed to box his sound into a single category. However, The Company of Wolves is perhaps the most accessible work yet to emerge from Fidel's extended career, while still retaining that uniquely lop-sided worldview that makes his music so dazedly impressive.

It's the holiday season, and I'm feeling generous. I'm going to post some tracks from the album, free for the downloading. That's right, free mp3's, and they are high quality, without any DRM restrictions so they'll play on your computer, and your iPod, Zune, Sansa, and every other player (use the "save as source" command on the far right of the player to download). What's the catch? All I ask, is that after you listen to them, you post something in the comments below to let us know how you liked them- or not. Fair enough? I thought so! Download your tracks below and enjoy.


Diamonds ft. Black Spade
Small Victories ft, Pigeon John, Mathias
Patty Farmington ft. Serengeti
Barbara Kruger

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