PARU: The Upcoming and R.D.M. Three-song demo

Hackneyed in theory, dope in practice: Paru's 'The Upcoming' is filled with promise

The Upcoming

Three-song demo

One cannot live by Rhymesayers alone, no matter how sick that new Brother Ali EP is--what this town needs is a bit more Cutlass-on-spinners hip hop. Good thing there's plenty of hungry MCs ready to fill that gap. Paru's seven-song demo, The Upcoming, is filled with promise: The Minneapolis MC knows his way around double-time beats and slow jams alike, though his lyrics need polish (do we really need another party/Bacardi/body rhyme scheme?) A Nelly-ish sense of catchy bounce rhymes can cover for a lot, however, and he sounds at home rhyming over the demo's slick, sampled pop hooks, which come courtesy of Cheap Cologne (he of the Hova/Metallica mashup Double Black Album). A Kanye-fied take on Carly Simon's 007 theme on "Baby You're the Best" and the Lovin' Spoonful riffs on "Summer in the City" are hackneyed in theory but dope in practice. The beats of St. Paul's R.D.M. forego samples for G-funk synth stutters, though the tinny hi-hat clicks and Casio bass sound a bit more frugal than your typical Dre joint. But when the MCs snap out of their Doggy-styled drawls to break into fits of breathless crunk-meter motormouthing on "This Is How We Roll (Flossin)", cheap production values cease to be a concern.

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