Taking a look at some of the local 705 music scene, one of my favorite groups who put it together , the "Cage Call" crew , consisting of Max Silvertongue and Mike O'Brien( are showing some love to the left coast, by bringing in Vancouver native Attikus and guests ILL TONE , Ham-E, and SOMEPeople. So I decided to take a listen to his latest opus "The Madness" to see what the crowd's in for this week at the Townehouse.

You can also listen and download/show support for this release at:

1. Bad Bones - Loving the electronic intro leading to the rapid fire attack of lyrics, which beautifully depicts the "don't judge a book by its cover" mantra through coming up in the middle class, while still having to deal with life's pitfalls, that forms his character. The west coast bounce is lovely in terms with the beat, and combined with the whisper outro, definitely haunting... 3/5

2. It Doesn't Matter ft Ka.lil - Attikus provides a merry go round style flow which perfectly blends with the dark carnviale-esque beat. Featured guest Ka.lil brings a vintage style flow reminiscent of young Masta Ace, completing a nice alley-oop by Att.... 3/5

3. Henchmen ft Tristate - The beat is a perfect blend again, of the west coast bounce, this time matched with sharp, haunting keys in the vein of vintage Dr. Dre production. Tristate handles his feature with relative skill, and Att brings his usual gruff yet smooth voice to it... 3/5

4. Read Between The Lines - A good change from the rest of the CD thus far, Att rides the smooth melodic production to give some jewels of what I call, the real life/ blue collar hip hop. Seemingly comes off as the older sibling who kicks you in your ass to inspire you and get you refocused, definite got a few spins before I jumped to the next track... 4/5

5. Hurt For Love - The heavy pianos and drums in the beat mesh well with the dark tale of the downside of what "love" can do to one. But it's not sombre, and Att brings alot of energy to the subject. On a personal note, I love how Att seemlessly throws wordplay out with complete ease... 3.5/5

6. Behind The Wheel - The album swings back into the vintage west coast G funk style with this bouncy track. Another track that got a another spin by me, and would definitely be on repeat on a late night cruise (if it wasn't cold ass winter of course)...3.5/5

7. Ray Orbison - Right off that Biggie song "Juicy", Att strikes sharp and brings you on a walk through his life, with a sharp guitar strings playing the backdrop for the tale. Only detriment I have with this song, was that it ended too soon, clocking in at 2:41. I believe you can never get enough of knowing the man behind the mic, and this was truly enlightening... 3.5/5

8. Madness ft Ka. Lil - The only skippable track in the whole collection, as coming off tracks like

"Behind The Wheel" and "Ray Orbison", the bar slinging just wasn't as strong as it could've been. Dope verses, but the beat was a bit bland. Again, the only blotch of this record at this point, and this deep into the album, that aint bad... 2.75/5

9. Brain Juice - A nice bounce back, Attikus literally breaks down sections of a human brain, and urging the listener to use it to its fullest. Definitely a showing of both skill level, and versatility, Att

flows like velvet through the beat, expressing his own version of the song title, though again, the short song length does hurt it a little bit... 4/5

10. Anthony Bourdain - A solid closer, with a sly reference to television personality Anthony Bourdain, where yes, I did have to google that. Nothing bad about this track, but not a stand out either. Which is n't a bad way to close the cd... 3/5

As an introduction to Attikus, for any new listener, this is a great jumping-on point. Especially, if like me, you're not aware of the players on the left coast of our country, which Attikus definitely is. "The Madness" is a great combination of vintage West Coast sound, and great lyricism that is sharp as well as knowledgeable where the topic warrants it. I do wish, which is always my gripe with music, is that there was more in terms of length, but am definitely looking forward to the future for Att' and his labelmates, and wish them the best.

Favorite Tracks:

Read Between The Lines

Behind The Wheel (my new crusing guilty pleasure)

Brain Juice

Rating = 3.5 out of 5 (SOLID LISTEN!!!)

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