||You see me getting nostalgic in this column every now and often. But dig, I’m an old fart and in my opinion, it ain’t always “all good” in the current rap hysteria. On one hand i’m so easy to please - just give me some fresh and unused samples with some crispy drums underneath and I’m satisfied. On the other hand, a lot of that so called underground rap, backpackin’ music, boom bap, or whatever stupid term got made up to describe traditional, sample based hip hop, fails to go forward in sense of musicality and originality. Elephant Beach accomplishes all my pretensions to a great rap album and even more. My buddy J.Sayne’s just too nice with his beats, meaning he treats his MPC like his beloved one and worms the soul out of long forgotten jewels of musical history, creating an suspenseful sonic stew of soul, blues, rock and jazz infused hip hop instrumentals. The kid really knows how to dig deep and his drum programming is, in my opinion, unique in switzerlands beat craftery! Thaione Davis, son of Chicagos vital hip hop scene paints vivid aural landscapes with his lyrics, visualizing the struggle and beauty of life in urban reality. I know, every other rapper nowadays refers to his gun-tooting, bitch-slapping, thugged-out gangsta lyrics as social commentarys of innercity madness. But in most cases, the outcome is just blatant nonsense. But Thaione avoids played out cants and insistently convinces with pure honesty. If I’d made it myself easy to review this album I’d just say “Escape” stands in the long tradition of classic, soulful 90’s hip hop albums by Tribe, Hard Knocks, Diamond D, Gang Starr… but Elephant Beach could also be a blueprint of how tomorrows non-mainstream rap music could sound like. Fo’ real, fo’ real!