Sleep: Lockland 95 (The Story of Us) [Album]
September 17, 2013 4 Comments
I’m not going to lie to all of you. When I caught wind of Sleep, 1/2 of rap duo 2 Man Cypher, and his solo album Lockland 95, I had never ever heard of a place claled Lockland, Ohio. I couldn’t even come up with a correct assumption as to where in the hell it might be, and what happens in a place such as this. But after 11 tracks profiling 12 different and strangely fascinating characters who resided in the area circa 1995, it became extremely clear what Lockland was all about, and it almost brought a damn tear to my eye.
Whether it is tales of drug dealers & addicts, 10 year old prostitutes, junior high rebellion, what have you, Sleep’s Lockland 95 is not only a perfectly saddening collection of tales of missing out on “kisses and hugs” and “selling drugs”, this is the perfect definition of the idealism of being sad because it’s true. While the lyrical madness that Sleep provides on any given track on this album are absolutely superb in their own right (I will go in to that later), one fascinating aspect of this album are the stories told just prior to the madness. Each track is a name, and on each track the name is aptly represented in prose and lyrics. Sometimes with a familiar 2pac tracks playing subtly in the background, Sleep tells one sad terrible tale after another before breaking in to prose. And riddle me this: If the subject matter of Lockland 95 seems “typical” and “obvious”….maybe it is time to analyze why the hell such violent subject matter can become such easy go to subject matter? That seems like the real problem here.
I was honestly scared that, despite the realism behind the concept of this album, this was going to be a disaster for one simple fact: these are stories set in 1995, is it going to sound like 2013? Well, the answer is no. And yes. Actually, it sounds timeless. There are many aspects of Sleep’s raps that do sound very 90’s beef rap-esque era, a very moderately based middle American in distress sort of artist, but in the end, his words are very timeless. It is actually quite possible that the only thing in his lyrical status is the violence and pain in his words, something we don’t seem to hear articulated so well these days. In this day and age of bullshit rappers just saying whatever they feel like over a 1/2 million dollar beat and having dumbass white kids flooding their Pandora playlists with their nonsense, being an artists doesn’t seem to matter to the hip hop world these days. Of course, true hip hop listeners know there are plenty of really wonderful artists out there who do their work for the love of hip hop, and for the love of telling a beautiful story. And I say with full confidence that Sleep is on the same tip. Lockland 95 is poetry in motion, this is a collection of beautiful tales of ghetto fortitude and an ultimate profile of American tragedy.
Download Lockland 95 at a Pay As You Want scale right HERE. I definitely recommend throwing at least a couple dollars down for such a great album. As Sleep says himself, any money will just towards more studio time anyway. So we can all win!