End of Earth Records / War Tour Productions (July 22, 2011)
Review by Aidan Severs
When an artist drops two debut projects simultaneously, one of them being a release which spans 4 years of creativity, the results are bound to showcase a less-mature version of said artist. Music Is My Silence is a compilation of material from San Fran resident MC/Producer/Graf artist Chef Camer1 (pronounced Cameron) which dropped alongside the Error 96-produced LP Audio Motel.
Music Is My Silence is a self-produced affair, on which Chef Camer1 dabbles in many styles and sounds from Hip Hop’s vast palette. The production never comes across as amateurish although it often comes across as less than authentic. It appears that Camer1 as a producer has yet to hone a signature sound which he is comfortable with as a beat maker (and as a rapper). In terms of beats, “Victoria” stands out – a balladic production which features Either Or’s beautifully recorded guitar. The second verse of “It All Goes Away” also has a wildly great beat. Album opener “Turn It Up” skips uncomfortably through styles and is confusing in its structure.
Camer1’s concepts, whilst fairly imaginative, sometimes sound forced; a bit ‘try hard’ – “Turn It Up” being a prime example of this as Chef states that he can only think when there is loud music. A seasoned Hip Hop fan would also be quick to identify that Chef Camer1’s own personality doesn’t shine through as he attempts too many different styles – the one which particularly sounds artificial is the angry, half Lil Jon, half Eminem (in “The Way I Am” mode) impression which he adopts in parts of “Turn It Up”, “March”, “I Fight” and “Example”. Lyrically Chef Camer1 has his ups and downs; in “Wishlist” he raps “…to contemplate, I relate to your state of being because your very being is my fate” (which is poetic) but then immediately goes on to rhyme “plus you make my knees shake just like vibrato” (not that good). His rhythm and timing is good making for a range of different flows – his strength as a rapper.
Spiritually the album is an honest account of a Christian’s life. “Testmony” is a highlight as Chef Camer1 discusses a topic which so many of us can probably relate to – feeling like prayers are hitting a brick wall. He finishes the first verse with the hard hitting “Then I hear You calling me, saying; “Why don’t you be quiet son, and for once try to listen”” – a lesson to us all. It’s this aspect of the album which displays the heart behind this artists work – whilst he has some way to go technically, he is most sincere in His love for God, his desire for reaching the lost and for sharing his experiences as a Christian.
Whilst some debut Rap albums that are the product of years of pent-up creativity and hunger are now considered to be classics, Music Is My Silence functions more as a document of this artist’s journey and as a standalone LP it doesn’t quite cut it – listen to this as bonus material once Chef Camer1 makes a more coherent album. Having said all this, you can make up your own mind on this release as it’s available as a free download along with the aforementioned Audio Motel.
For fans of: Jupiter7, War Tour
Free Album Download: Chef Camer1 “Music Is My Silence”