Review: Rick Haze – Mellowave

Review: Rick Haze – Mellowave

Rick Haze – Mellowave
1.) Mellowave (feat. E.N. Young)
2.) Rootsman Party (feat. Tribal Seeds)
3.) Same Mistake (feat. E.N Young)
4.) Choices (feat. C Young and Gonzo)
5.) Go Around (feat. Beyond I Sight & E.N Young)
6.) Gnarly Dub
7.) Cali Indica (feat. Ras Matthew)
8.) Sandcastles (feat. Billy B)
9.) The System (feat. Roots In Peace)
10.) Dub In The Kitchen (feat. Gonzo & E.N Young)
11.) Rootsman Dub

The Pier Album Rating:

Release Date: July 9th, 2012
Official Website: Rick Haze Official Website

Group Background:
Hailing from Orlando, Florida is producer and lyricist Rick Haze. In his early years as a musician and during his time in the military, Haze became attached to the much-beloved genre shortly after hearing reggae all-star Don Carlos’ 1982 hit Music Crave. After frequently attending shows and performances, Haze met with fellow-producer and singer E.N. Young during a leg of a Florida tour of with Tribal Seeds. Since then he has performed with internationally-touring acts such as Tribal Seeds, Fortunate Youth, and predictably E.N. Young.

In October of 2011, the east coast rapper decided to kickstart his new music project during his last year in the military titled Mellowave. With the help of album engineer E.N. Young, Roots In Peace ( Juan Navarro and Alex Gammill of Beyond I Sight), multiple features from across the United States, and the internet, Mellowave became Rick Haze’s reggae, dub, and rap-inspired debut.

Album Review:
The freshman effort from Florida’s newest rapper Rick Haze, Mellowave may pluck some of the mellowest strings in the modern hip-hop and reggae scene. The reggae and dub riddims engineered by E.N Young accentuate a rather somber atmosphere. Over and above that is Rick Haze’s rhythmically-motivated delivery; something that the general reggae ear is not trained to.

Doused in messages of positivity and mutual respect, guest appearances, and slow-tempered skank cadences, it is no wonder Haze, E.N Young, and the others spent eight months producing and recording. With a hazy (no pun intended), baritone delivery, Haze seems to flow hand-in-hand with the rhythm in every song. However, it would have been a little friskier to hear a touch of variation in rhythmic delivery. There seems to be a steadfast formula for the number of syllables Haze rhymes per measure. But his guest appearances and vocal affiliates combine for a robust potpourri of different styles.

Everything was conducted over e-mail, with the exception of Steven Jacobo of Tribal Seeds, who personally visited E.N Young’s studio in Imperial Beach, CA to record his additions. Otherwise Haze and E.N Young had to coordinate the influx of e-mails containing verses and guest features from several artists with already-illustrious voices. Not limited to Tribal Seeds’ Steven Jacobo, but Gonzo formerly of Fortunate Youth, Curtis Young, son of the living rap legend Dr. Dre, Billy B, an up-and-coming rapper from San Diego, and many more including co-producer E.N Young.

Choices in my opinion is the best collaboration featured on Mellowave. Dr. Dre’s son C Young and Gonzo, one of the leading voices formerly of Fortunate Youth’s vocal artillery sing about life’s tough choices. C Young sings about coming to a realization, I had no one to teach me right from wrong, because right was wrong where I was from. Later in the song Rick Haze sings about his decision to stick with reggae roots, even in the light of his rapping abilities. Later in the album, one of the gifted producers remixed the song into The Rootsman Dub, chopping the tempo even further.

Rick Haze’s debut was inevitably a success for the kickstart to his musical career. Although some of the music’s colors run, it was hard to diss an album featuring so many talented musicians and such a variety of mellow, real-life episodes of positivity. The two echoic dubs were also very-well produced and even include a shade of dubstep. Overall, I’d suggest taking a listen to Mellowave, as it is something relatively new to reggae ears and each character that appears on this album provides a different melodic viewpoint through each song.

Written & Reviewed By: Matt Emodi

[Editors Note: All reviews are reflective of the album in it’s entirety, from start to finish. These reviews are the honest opinion of each writer/reviewer, expressing their feedback as a genuine fan of the music. Each star rating reflects their review of the album, not the band. Music is subjective. Regardless of the review or star rating, we encourage you to listen to the music yourself & form your own opinion. Spread the awareness of all music in its art & contribution]