Brooklyn veteran spit kicker Shabaam Sahdeeq has returned with his fifth studio album, Keepers Of The Lost Art. The relentless lyricist delivers a body of work that puts his lyrical aptitude at the forefront, while placing an emphasis on top shelf production and cuts, courtesy of Ran Reed, Lewis Parker, DJ Dister, DJ Ready Cee and DJ Skizz, to name a few.
What originally started as 40 tracks, Keepers Of The Lost Art was eventually boiled down to 20, reflecting S-Dub’s most comprehensive long play release to date. The LP details his motivation to stay in the game and fight for the culture with bars as tough as the mic in his hand. The production runs the gamut from laid back as exemplified by the nostalgic piano chords on the Lewis Parker produced “Walk with the Light,” to electrifying, as demonstrated by the DJ Skizz produced street banger “That Dope,” which boasts features from Brooklyn’s premiere panderer Wais P, and the lyrically sharp Sha Stimuli. And complain no more club deejays, Shabaam has you covered for a dance friendly cut to spin late Friday nights with the DJ Wonder produced “Fall In Line.” It’s safe to call it a comeback as his rhymes are as polished today, as they were when he made his Rawkus debut in ’97 with “Arabian Nights” B/W “Side 2 Side.”
Artistically, the album cover reveals a scenario where Hip-Hop’s younger generation discovers the cultural keepsakes of yesteryear. From a solid gold boombox, to jewel crusted crowns, drum machines, and outboard gear, S-Dub is here to confront the generational disconnect, as spelled out on the Eric Rico featured “Grown Man Hustle” — “Some of these young boys consider me a throwback, I birthed your style you need to give me my flow back,” spits S-Dub. When explaining the album cover, Shabaam states: “Imagine the world came to an end in an apocalypse and some kids survived in a bunker. Now when the dust settles and the smoke is gone, the kids come out the bunker and discover a treasure chest in an old music store that contains all the elements of Hip-Hop, and started having fun with it.” Whether you see it as a time capsule or the last defense of Hip-Hop’s watchmen, Keepers Of The Lost Art could be played ten years ago, today, and ten years from now with high praise.
Keepers of the Lost Art includes guest features from the likes of Tragedy Khadafi, REKS, El Gant, Wais P, Sha Stimuli, Skyzoo, F.T., Mic Handz, General DV (DV Alias Khrist), Spit Gemz, and Bekay among others, and becomes available April 22nd via digital download and CD, through Below System.