5 Jul 2022
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Big Sima - Album Review: Stereotypes of a Polynesian Misunderstood

04 Jul 2022 // Review by Ben Ruegg

Currently one of the most active NZ Hip-Hop artists on the live circuit, The Underground King AKA Big Sima is no stranger to the big stage. During his come-up, he has played support for everyone from Busta Rhymes to Bone Thugs 'n Harmony, Guru (Gangstarr), Mobb Deep and Cypress Hill.

On his new album, Stereotypes of a Polynesian Misunderstood, he firmly grounds his flag to make his mark. Not only does the album sound incredible and complete, but it's honest and genuine, something that I continually comment about in modern Hip-Hop. Hip-Hop culture has become a cash cow, but many artists still don't follow that narrative. On the opening track, Stormy, it is clear that Big Sima does not follow it. "Everybody wants to be a legend, so everybody sells their souls just to be up in someone's mentions". Preach. The choir backing only fuels the feelings in this opening track.

Each beat feels old-school yet modern. Like the record crackle at the beginning of Truth. There are nods to many greats that have come before all over this album. Even sometimes, artists, you wouldn't expect. Forgive me if I am wrong, but there is a Shapeshifter vibe to the synth bass on Truth. Yet, the flow and cadence stand out here as they do on every track. Halfway through we get a spoken-word interlude, driven by haunting distorted guitars and beautiful acoustic to create juxtaposition, you know a lot of heart went into this product.

With so many incredible tracks to mention, it is worth noting that this album pays dividends if you sit back and really listen with your soul. Like on the closing track, The Student, there is some incredible sax and trumpet playing that will leave you in a wonderful vibe wanting to hit repeat so you can hear and feel the stories that illuminate this album from start to finish.

This is most definitely a Hip-Hop classic that knows its vision and paints it vividly with passion. Everything about its production and performance deserves credit. And with an all-star guest line-up even featuring Tiki Taane, Big Sima has credibility backing up this album.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

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