Every Wednesday night, mc's from across Chicago would assemble in a small studio in Hyde Park for a radio show. Twisters, poets, battle cats, and lyricists made for a unique and intense atmosphere, with love for hip hop and the craft of rhyming bringing people together who rarely inhabited the same cultural space.
This is the community that is responsible for Typical Cats, a group consisting of three very different mc's who share an approach, appreciation, and respect for hip hop music in both what it has done and in its uncharted boundaries. Over the summer of 2000, Denizen Kane, Qwazaar, and Qwel came together with WHPK host DJ Natural to work on an album that proves to be as unique as the circumstances under which they met. This fourteen track self-titled album released in early 2001 on Chicago-based label Galapagos4 features both group and solo songs, wordplay, concepts, rhyme schemes, battle rhymes, and spoken-word poetry. While challenging norms, expectations, and assumptions concerning rap music, the album is self-consciously working within the traditions of classic hip hop. It restores the possibility for making progressive rap music that sounds banging and celebrates the things that have always made for dope hip hop-mic presence, flows, lyrics, head nodding beats, ill scratches, and more than anything, a soulful quality inherent in great music.
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