By Alex P80 Parks
Chuck N Lock deliver their second EP of the year, this time recruiting one of the UK’s finest producers, Farma Beats to supply the perfect sonic field for the two wordsmiths to lyrically reap and sow.
Never ones to shy away from larger concepts and themes, Chuck N Lock continue to provide more than just superficial rhymes. After listening to the album, I had to get some insight behind their latest project, so we chopped it up before the release to get a better understanding of some of the underlying concepts and ideas present in Farm To Table.
DRHH: My interpretation of this project is that you guys are providing that quality sustenance directly to consumers.
CNL: You hit the nail on the head.. This is that quality product brought right to your plate. It’s a nod at commercialism in the sense that everything is mass produced, cookie cutter, and stuffed with preservatives these days; not a lot of natural flavors left out here. Everything nowadays is bells and whistles with no substance and people are willing to consume garbage. You can draw multiple parallels from that. Whether it be people’s actual food consumption habits, what you watch (tv, etc), what you listen to, what you read online.. It’s all apart of your diet. This project is something wholesome, nutritionally dense, authentic, and true to self. We pride ourselves on trying to push the envelope every time.
The martial arts-inspired opener, “Chopping Block,” is like a training session with both emcees taking turns smacking up the track. Farma lays some stretched-strings sounding like a guqin or ghuzeng (Chinese guitars) and adds some dusty drums. Chuck N Lock come correct, delivering their typically unique references, making you run to do an internet search. Wu fans will no doubt be pleased by the feel of this one.
Check it out here:
On “Monsanto,” CNL assume the role of the bio agricultural company who pioneered controversial eco-invasive technologies including Roundup and GMO food. This track pulls no punches, but their socio-political commentary isn’t meant to be preachy though. In fact, when asked about the track..
CNL: “We don’t have to take everything so seriously all the time. “Monsanto” is an exercise in that. It alludes to this current hyper-bravado vein of rap. This notion that only rapping about crime, violence, and drugs is the only means of success. We understand there are some who actually have lived that life, however, I think there are also a lot of people who’re trying to exploit that. We went at “Monsanto” satirically. You wanna rap about selling drugs?? We’re gonna rap about blocking the sun from the earth. Who’s the bigger criminal?”
Always able to self- deprecate and not remain too serious, they stay down to earth amidst the satire. Farma supplies a full orchestral sample with blaring horns, rolling bass drums and then adds some punchy snares. The horns are perfect to accompany the verbal onslaught from Chuck N Lock.
On “Crop Circles,” the solo trumpet starts off the track with howling coyotes off in the distance. The beat is a slower tempo with a droning bass line, a guitar chord and a delicate piano loop. Both Chuck and Lock consistently deliver some dope rhymes.
“Wheat Thresher” is a uniquely-chopped up series of samples with guitars, flutes and horns with some added thump. The vocal sample ties it all together, sounding like a vintage 60’s record from Asia.
“Ya camps barren,
We’re bearing fruit, can’t compare the 2.
I’m barely human,
Shark and barracuda,
Armed with harpoons,
Paratroopers and a pair of bazookas,
All very useful.
You ain’t sick kid, you’re Ferris Bueller.
Its the premier league
We got an Arsenal, Ya Bayern Munich
Ya barely do this
it’s Bellichick with the headset
And Brady with his earpiece.
“Green House Effect” ft Sleep Sinatra. The only track with a feature, Chuck N Lock were able to “get Sleep on the horn like Satchmo.” Sleep brings his deep and thoughtful lyrics with his smooth flow to contrast with CnL’s lyrical barrage. CNL are a bit reigned in on this track, but not lacking in potency. All three emcees bring their top game to this track, Farma provides another beautiful sample here- simple yet elegant. The feature is perfect and the overall tone just grabs the listener. A standout track amongst excellent songs.
DRHH: what’s your perspective on the current climate in HipHop.
CNL: The climate these days is less merit based and more on the facades and appearances. With a few exceptions. We’re not bitter. There are still a lot of dudes we respect in this field and a lot of good music being made. We just want to add to that.
DRHH: Do you feel that there is less focus on quality control for artists?
CNL: Absolutely. Even down to the artwork, dudes are just pulling pictures offline, throwing them through a filter, and calling it art. We literally went out ourselves and took the picture for this album and then cooked all the food for our family and friends (laughs) With this album artwork, (as it pertains to the bags on our heads in the picture) we are both very ugly (laughs). Also, we didn’t want our appearances to influence the way the music is regarded. We wanted to let it speak for itself. People are quick to judge on appearances, while everything else comes second.
CNL: Shoutout to Farma who went crazy and really gave us a beautiful space to display our lyrical calisthenics!
This project certainly doesn’t lack substance, especially from the beat department. Farma happens to making some of the best beats, while bringing an extra boost out of the emcees that rhyme on his tracks. Farma keeps new crafting new soundscapes for lyricists to bring their best yet again.
Lyrically, Farm To Table provides the sharpness, wit, and depth for significant replay value. Chuck N Lock continue to bring quality lyrics over top-notch production. No throw away beats or wasted bars, just pure spitters over elite beats.
Cop this album here:
check out my review of Chuck N Lock’s Blue Shell Theory: