Words by Kaya.lah
One of the Virgin Islands’ illest spitters and one of LargeUp’s Artists to watch for 2014, Paebak re-enters fray in fine style with his latest mixtape. The Foundation is a solid work of Caribbean fused hip-hop, which finds the Rock City (St. Thomas, USVI) rapper commanding various roots, classic dancehall and hip-hop productions with fluid versatility.
All of the original productions on this mixtape are of high quality. Paebak shows how to properly rock on a roots riddim with the inspiring “Mental Shackles.” You might recognize the track from that one as Song Bird, the 2013 Zion-I kings released on the USVI’s own I-Grade Records. Paebak takes the listener effortlessly through his life’s journey, both bitter and the sweet, on the second track, “Major,” over the ever-haunting, one-drop perfection of Major Lazer’s “Get Free.” Another standout, “Forever a King” features roots reggae soldier Niyorah.
“Going Places” brings back memories with the Don Dada Super Cat’s “Dolly My Baby” backdrop, while Shine Po’s “Bonnie & Shyne” instrumental underscores “Confused.” Paebak utilizes the Fugees’ epic “Ready or Not,” not an instrumental to be taken lightly, to paint a vivid picture of recent heartaches experienced by himself and the Virgin Islands. One of Paebak’s greatest qualities might not be his superior skill at wordcraft, but the honest sincerity he brings to his writings. As the mainstream trends continue to lean toward materialism, hip-hop needs more artists that ascribe to loftier outlooks on life. They keep us grounded and makes for timeless music; foundation music.
Many shouts to the WMB Studio, KrazyKolorz, and Forever Kings for their work on the mixtape. Now, you know LargeUp is not without the treats for the massive and crew. On September 23rd, Paebak will be releasing his ISLAND BOY EP right here on LargeUp. Stay Tuned!!!