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One of my biggest disappointments with Hip Hop is how limiting a lot of the "fans" are. I know so many people who claim they love Hip Hop and/or the Culture but have a real narrow scope of what they listen to. It's hard enough that there's countless people who only listen to "East Coast" or "West Coast" or "Down South"...so trying to get people in the U.S. to check out some Hip Hop from across the oceans is quite the task.
It's certainly not a new issue and it's definitely better than it was in the 80s/90s. Personally, I've been a fan of Hip Hop on a global scale for as long as I can remember. I suppose, on a grander scale, it really all began in the late 80s when I discovered UK Hip Hop and fell in love with its aggressive nature and strong purist principles. Over time my ears were tuning into the sounds of Denmark and eventually Sweden, the home of the LoopTroop Rockers.
LoopTroop Rockers formed in '92 and started releasing albums in '93, but to my knowledge those albums were self-released and with limited distribution, so didn't have much, if any, availability in the U.S.. However, in '98 they formed the David Vs Goliath Label and apparently secured some wider reaching distribution because I was now able to get my hands on their material. For me, it started with two David Vs Goliath releases, the "Heads Or Tails" EP which contains four tracks, all produced by DJ Embee and the "From Beyond K-Line" 12" which featured LoopTroop, DJ Erase, and Kashal-Tee.
I immediately noticed that their sound abandoned the high-speed abrasive-ness of the UK scene and was more Boom-Bap with a bounce and melody, plus a strong Reggae influence. However, lyrically they possessed that same attitude; anti-commercial, anti-industry, anti-corruption, but while also pushing the nearly forgotten art of being good people. Thru out their career they've remained true and passionate to some key topics and principles; Graf, Social/Political Industry, The Roots of Hip Hop, and the respecting of the Culture.
Over the past decade or so they have collectively, as well as individually, been diligent about releasing new music and hitting the road touring. While they maintain an active touring schedule, it has been very limited in the U.S.. They made their first U.S. appearance with the "Strange Journey Tour" alongside CunninLynguists* in 2009 and later followed up with a 2010 appearance at SXSW. They now make their return to the U.S. at the Fifth Element Stage at Soundset!!!
The brand new album is "Professional Dreamers" and is reflective of their long musical journey. Over their last few albums they've been developing their sound, with DJ Embee showing his great diversity and musicality as a producer. Although, the musical back-drop has evolved, the supporting messages remain on task.
They've already released three great videos to accompany the album that each show the different sides of the group; "Professional Dreamers", the title track acts just as the opening text suggests "Dedicated To Everybody Who's Set Their Mind To Living Their Dream". Meanwhile "On Repeat" perfectly captures the multiple characteristics of the group that make them so engaging; powerful messages mixed in with humor and fun, but without diluting the impact of the issues at hand. "Do" is the latest video which is an all out B-Boy/Girl anthem:
LoopTroop Rockers are; DJ Embee, Promoe, Supreme, Cos.M.I.C.
If you need a quick review of their history, here's a strong start...
LoopTroop-Self Biography ["From The Waxcabinet" Album '96]
[audio:http://www.fifthelementonline.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/04-Self-Biography.mp3|titles=04 Self Biography]
LoopTroop-Chameleons ["Unsigned Hype" EP '97]
Promoe-Innerviews ["From Beyond K-Line" EP '98]
LoopTroop-Rumors ["Heads Or Tails" EP '98]
Promo-Off The Record [12" '99]
[audio:http://www.fifthelementonline.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Promoe-Off-The-Record.mp3|titles=Promoe-Off The Record]
LoopTroop-Business & Pleasure ["Modern Day Symphony" Album '00]
[audio:http://www.fifthelementonline.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/08-Business-Pleasure.mp3|titles=08 Business & Pleasure]
Promoe-Prime Time ["Government Music" Album '01]
[audio:http://www.fifthelementonline.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/03-Prime-Time.mp3|titles=03 Prime Time]
LoopTroop-Last Song ["The Struggle Continues" Album '02]
[audio:http://www.fifthelementonline.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/14-Last-Song.mp3|titles=14 Last Song]
DJ Embee and Cos.M.I.C-Declaration Of Motivation ["The Casual Brothers" EP '02]
[audio:http://www.fifthelementonline.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Declaration-Of-Motivation.mp3|titles=Declaration Of Motivation]
Promoe-These Walls Don't Lie ["The Long Distance Runner" Album '04]
[audio:http://www.fifthelementonline.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Promoe-These-Walls-Dont-Lie.mp3|titles=Promoe-These Walls Don't Lie]
LoopTroop-21 Grams ["Fort Europa" Album '05]
[audio:http://www.fifthelementonline.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/03-21-Grams.mp3|titles=03 21 Grams]
Promoe-Headache ["White Man's Burden" Album '06]
LoopTroop Rockers featuring Rakaa (Of Dilated Peoples)-Trance ["Good Things" Album '08]
[audio:http://www.fifthelementonline.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/11-Trance-Fat-Ft-Rakaa.mp3|titles=11 Trance Fat (Ft Rakaa)]
DJ Embee featuring Daniel Lemma-A Day At A Time ["The Mellow Turning Moment" Album '10]
[audio:http://www.fifthelementonline.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/04-A-Day-At-A-Time-Featuring-Daniel-Lemma.mp3|titles=04 A Day At A Time (Featuring Daniel Lemma)]
Bonus Joint: Promo featuring Black Fist-What's That Sound ["Government Music" Album '01]
[audio:http://www.fifthelementonline.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/15-What_s-That-Sound-feat-Black-Fist.mp3|titles=15 What_s That Sound feat Black Fist]