♫♪  DJ Manipulator & Louie Gonz - “Forward”

It might be is probably because I’m 600 pages deep into Alan Moore’s truly epic auto-psychogeography Jerusalem, but lately I’ve been hearing regional rap very differently than I’m used to. From Philadelphia’s Career Crooks to Missouri City’s Billyracxx to Savannah’s Dope Knife, it sounds as if the artists aren’t expressing hometown pride or trapped escapism as much as they’re digging the roots of deep-seeded communal cartographies, scratching back tatts of ancient subterranean maps.

These aren’t the street sounds of a Richard Price novel, with an exact facsimile for the door alarm of every shop on a block of your choice — no disrespect to Dicky P, of course — but rather the near imperceptible echoes of lost local lore, the voiceless crying out, “Justice above the street.” (OK, it’s definitely just Jerusalem talking.)

From the big-little city of Worcester, Mass. — that’s pronounced Woohsta for all you in-town-for-the-trade-show types — comes Louie Gonz. There might be a rapper somewhere in Massachusetts with a more Massachusetts name than Louie Gonz, but s/he certainly isn’t gray-scaling the state with quite the same dogged momentum.

Premiering below, “Forward” is the latest video from DJ Manipulator and Louie Gonz’s The Loops, out now via Music Is My Message / Speak Up Ent.

For those in the New England area, the two are performing at the historic Worcester Palladium (opened 89 years ago) tonight! Cop your tix here (or at the door, presumably).

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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