The Slept-On Report: Low Budget Crew

I see myself as an ambassador and unofficial representative of slept-on rappers and producers to those not well informed, or misinformed. I make it a point to spread knowledge of these matters, so that all the wandering souls can come to enjoy this stuff like I do.

Some might call it a conceited endeavor but it’s an endeavor regardless, and it’s a legitimate effort to bring some purely original, creative and artistic music to a platform more accessible to the masses. I will try to do this public service as often as time lets me. Let’s begin…

I present to you the Low Budget Crew, consisting mainly of (forgive me if I miss an artist or two) Kev Brown, Kenn Starr, Cy Young, Kaimbr, Oddisee, Sean Born, Quartermaine, KenWood, Caliber, DJ Marshall Law. Ever since I spun that I Do What I Do album by Kev Brown back in ’06 I’ve been keeping a close eye on him and his crew.

Kev Brown is a rapper turned producer, not like 9th Wonder going all ‘9thmatic’ and rapping with Khrysis – no, not like that. No shots at 9th or Khrysis. I’m a big fan of both and they’re beasts on the boards, nobody can take that away. I just think they should stick to what they do best which is producing beats.

On the other hand, Kev Brown is an MC that can hold his own against a lot of rappers held in high regards, both in the mainstream and underground. He’s ill like that. A couple of things that I admire in this cat: Firstly, I got nuff respect for rappers that produce (and vice versa) and do it well. Kev does an excellent job. Be it listening to his sick basslines on “Keep On” or his laid back down-to earth on- point flow on “Say Sumthin'” he never ceases to amaze me. Instead of rapping about what all rappers today rap about, Kev (and the rest of the crew) take a real down to earth approach to rap (Shout out to Phonte on that one) and you can’t help but relate to the messages they relay. Plus the beats are straight classic.

In addition to all this, Kev does this without any profanity whatsoever, and he edits out his guests’ curses and what not (took me a while to find out why the hell all the albums I copped had all the n, f, a, b, mf-words and all the like edited out). No use in looking for a ‘dirty’ version. Now show me a contemporary rapper that can deliver a good verse without the absurd amounts of profanity… I thought as much. Moving on.

Production-wise Kev is responsible for works like De La Soul’s “Special”, Eric Roberson’s “Pen Just Cries Away” and a large portion of Jazzy Jeff’s The Magnificent album. Not meaning to sound like a marketing agent or some shit but his work needs some serious listening. Check out stuff like The Kev Brown Mixtape, Classic Joints, & Random Joints.

I could go on and on like Ms. Badu and give y’all more reasons to listen to these guys but I can only write so much. The rest is up to you.

Not to sleep on the rest of the crew, the following needs some delving into:

Kenn Starr – Starr Status: The album is dope lyrically and laced with production from Kev Brown, Illmind, and fellow Low Budget Crew member Oddisee. Tracks to watch out for on the album: “Relentless”, “Middle Fingaz”, “Back At It Again”.

Cy Young – Exactly!: Cy Young makes another statement in proving that talent is abundant in the Low Budget Crew with tracks like “Whatever You Like” & “Get Up”.

Oddisee – Foot In The Door: Tracks like “Beats N’ Rhymes” with Phonte and Kev & “Industry Ills”

Give them a listen.