Inner Sessions is the duo of BillyBo and Aaron Paul on the lyrics while the album Inner Seed features production by AP’s alter ego zKx1000 and Johnny Bishop. BillyBo is a name I’ve heard in passing and after some research found that this Dover, Pennsylvania native started rapping in 1999 and released four prior solo albums: Transitions (2004), Follow Me (2005), So Amazing (2006), and A Little Piece of Home (2008). Aaron Paul on the other hand has two alias’s going by soul.ILLoquent and as I mentioned the producer alias zkx1000. I couldn’t find much on Aaron but his Facebook page says that Aaron’s hometown is Las Vegas with his current location being Blue Springs, Missouri.
Getting into the album itself the sound is definitely mid-west underground hip-hop. The engineering was clean and the beats were mixed good which is always a plus. Nothing turns a critic off than tuning into an unknown and hearing something that sounded like it was recorded with a $20 mic mixed down on a garage sale tape deck so thank you for that I.S. I could tell that you care enough about your craft to put a good effort into your project.
The beats were eclectic. Take “Cross Country” for example which pits a country guitar twang and crispy kicks and snares while Billy and Aaron lay down the content. The lyrics through-out the album weren’t bad but the formulaic stanzas just weren’t captivating. I could listen through the album but nothing stood out to me that convinced me this would be an album I would want to revisit. That may just be my particular tastes in music so I wouldn’t let that deter you from exploring some new music or continuing to support the artists here. The great thing about Sphere is most of the artists who offer their albums in the store can first be discovered by downloading a few songs on the music download section. Then if you like what you hear you have access to purchase more and support the artists with your purchase.
Speaking of eclectic beats “Latchkey” was a highlight as the wide-symphonic overhead backed up by boom-bap drums caught my ear. Other highlights included “Run” which took a soulful sample that reminded me of an old Wu beat or something maybe Dust of Mars ill might have been credited for had I not known Johnny Bishop was responsible. “Death After Life” was an interesting track… the soft rhythm guitars found an angelic lead in a non-traditional hip-hop sound kept me listening to see where the track would go from point to point. The lyrics on the track shifted from raps to abstract poetry to singing and full circle again. Credit due for taking a chance on something different.
Purchase CD – download – iTunes
For fans of: Boom bap laced indie hip-hop