Edge

Flipsyde shows new side of fusion

The biggest trend in music now is fusion, most notably rock and hip-hop. Few bands can combine the two with such finesse; Flipsyde can be added as one of the few exceptions. The band hailing from Oakland, Calif., dropped its debut album We the People this past summer with the single “Someday.”

Composed of Steve Knight, a white boy rocker from Alabama, Dave Lopez, a Spanish inspired guitarist from Chile, and Jinho “Piper” Ferreira, a rapper from Oakland, the band’s music is as diverse as the musicians are. Heavy rock guitar, occasional Spanish lyrics and guitar with hip-hop beats form the group’s unique sound.

The CD begins with “Someday,” a song that has gotten a lot of air play in San Francisco and has caught the ears of very important people. The tune was bought as the theme song for the Winter Olympics on NBC. The song begins with Spanish guitar and a catchy chorus. The woes of hardships and hard work summarize the track and Knight closes it, “If you know how this is/gonna see it’s not easy/don’t stop get it till it’s done…Believe in your dreams,” making it a perfect candidate for the upcoming games.

The band gets a little more creative in their homage to “U.S. History.” Piper spits American history from Colonial times with a twist, from the perspective of a family member. He calls Britain “daddy” who has to let his child go and grow independently. He also discuses other family ties, “Me and my daddy still cool and my uncles is with us/France, Russia, and Italy” in conflicts reminiscent to World War I. He recounts all the way to our current situations in Iraq. The song is an innovative style of rap and a gem on the CD.

The title track engages in other human injustices, poverty, materialism and the constant struggle of life and how it all may seem hopeless but everyone dies and meets on the “Flipsyde.” Although the message is important, the song is not as inspiring.

The close of the track is not their usual sound and hails more from across the bay. “Trumpets” has the distinctive house music beat and up tempo beats and not as edgy as their other tracks.

Listeners can easily pick up the album’s pattern for each song, instrumental solo with Knights’ catchy choruses next. This takes away from any guess work about the next song. The melodic swing of most verses are reminiscent of old Bone Thugs-n-Harmony tracks. Some other not-so-strong songs include “Time” and “Train.” Aside from that, Flipsyde has a solid debut album and unique sound that will cross many genres with ease.

Brittany Price can be contacted at b.price@umiami.edu.

September 23, 2005

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