Lifesavas Spirit In Stone

[Quannum; 2003]

Rating: 4/5

Styles: underground hip-hop
Others: Blackalicious, Latyrx, Solesides

It’s not hard to tell that Lifesavas, A.K.A. Vursatyl & Jumbo the Garbageman, are part of the well renowned hip-hop label Quannum Records. Their debut album Spirit In Stone is dripping with family driven influences and inspiration. Taking elements from such artists as Blackalicious, Latyrx and even DJ Shadow, Lifesavas have made the Quannum family proud by releasing a fresh and agreeable album without steering away from what made the label so successful in the past. 70s funk, old school. and soul are three important and necessary elements of Quannum, and Lifesavas keep that formula in mind throughout the album. Adding horns and scratches, Lifesavas have created a break-neck sound of smoothness and ease.

But the sound isn’t the only component that assembles this album and distinguishes it as true hip-hop. Vursatyl & Jumbo bring back the old school Solesides vibe with intricate and thoughtful rhymes. Their lyrical flow may resemble Blackalicious a little too much at times, but it only confirms their loyalty to the label and all Quannum fans. Strong records like “It’s Over” and “HelloHiHey” are true hip-hop gems and exemplify Vursatyl & Jumbo’s love and commitment to hip-hop and its derivatives. And in true Quannum fashion, “Emerge” brings together the family and creates a Soleside reunion that epitomizes the verbal energy and athletics as well as the mixology that made me turn to my music collection and dig up Solesides Greatest Bumps to play after Spirit In Stone.

Lifesavas’ debut album quickly dismisses any point of reference by keeping close admiration and contention with the elements that have made Quannum famous. Vursatyl and Jumbo summon up the sounds of old school and its roots to serve up a refreshing look at hip-hop and deliver beyond expectations. Overall, Spirit In Stone is progression, yet regression for Quannum Records. A perfect match to the sounds and styles that they deliver on so many occasions.

Note to readers: I personally got to see Lifesavas live with Del The Funkee Homosapien. I would suggest that anyone who enjoys hip-hop live shows check these guys out. They have charisma and energy and deliver a truly wonderful live experience.

1. Solderfied
2. It's over
3. What if it's true
4. Livin' time/life: movement 1
5. Fever
6. Hellohihey
7. Head exercise
8. Selector
9. Fa' show
10. State of the world/apocalypse/war
11. Resist
12. 5th horseman
13. Skeletons
14. Emerge
15. Me
16. Spirit in Stone