Before I start this, I’d like to shout out Configaration Promotions who sent us this a long time ago. Thank-you Configa for showing us this, and we’re sorry it’s taken so long to get it up.
Now listen yeah? Really listen. I’m going to say a word right, and it’s going to sound a little silly, but I don’t want you to judge the album by the use of this word, because it’s a compliment. Thing is, you have to keep an open mind with this word because it’s a bit ‘dated’. It’s in the family of the word ‘funky’, but maybe a little bit more nonsensical. That word is ‘groovy’. Waaaa I know! Please don’t leave. Now what do I mean when I say groovy? For instance, you’d say that a 1970’s jazz double bass player was groovy yeah? That dude’s got soul, and is definitely one cool motherfucker right? Yeah that’s what I mean, and that’s exactly what I mean when I say that about ‘Hair Cuts’. It’s got a good groove, HaStyler has put a lot of soul into this album. The rhythm and general ‘groove’ of both the instrumental and vocal production is consistent and very memorable, and it was one of the first things that caught my attention when I first listened to it. Oh how I wish I had enough backbone to not use quotations marks every time I say that word.
I like the way the album sticks closely to a strong narrative. I can’t say I’ve ever listened to a record by a barber before, and it’s a very refreshing take on story telling. The lyrics and stories themselves are very sincere and honest, and I love how generally fun the album is. The latter is something we could all do with whether in the hip-hop world or any other musical genre; sometimes people forget we’re actually meant to be enjoying ourselves. HaStyle does this very well, whilst still retaining his legitimacy as a ridiculously talented MC, and not being a clown for the sake of appearing ‘quirky’. It’s very easy to tell when someone is just having a nice time in their mum’s garden, and when someone is trying far too hard to be funny.
Another thing I think you’ll notice immediately after listening to ‘Hair Cuts’, is that this is obviously a New York release. The dude couldn’t be from anywhere else. It’s as if you can imagine HaStyle walking to his barber shop, passing the graffiti bombed trains, over the city’s sidewalks, all whilst bumping some Dougie Fresh in his earphones. That’s another thing about this record, it’s not strictly grimy roadman NYC hip-hop. It’s more in the family of old school, well it’s at least a healthy mix of the current and the past. This style gives the record a good character, and sounds so much more realistic. Just imagine if Pacewon had a cousin that rapped, well that dude would be HaStyle.
So what’s my overall thoughts? This record could be a little underground classic in waiting, and if you feel like giving your ears and mind a nice little treat then I suggest you get you little mitts on it. (Also ten points for releasing a comic to accompany the album. I can’t wait for that. I’m sorry I didn’t go more in depth on that one, but you know I do tend to go off on tangents)
Recommended If You Like: Pacewon, Murs, Dougie Fresh, De La Soul.
Stand-Out Tracks: Basement Barber, Black Hand Side, Funny Cats, The Insane Asylum.