Double A.B.
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Double A.B.

New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Band Hip Hop


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"Double A.B. - The Diesel Review"

Hyphy hip-hop and rap music have a solid place on the radio and “in da club”, but this MC builds on the slow and heavy beats that New York City rap was based on to create a familiar sound with a breath of fresh air. Double A.B. is an MC who delivers that ‘round the way sound that’s reminiscent of the days when hanging out on the stoop was the order of the day. The Diesel is the anticipated follow-up album that resonates New York City life by weaving intricate phrasing with unpretentious, head nodding beats. The album features special guests such as Cormega, Nature, Vast Aire of Cannibal Ox, and Dub Sonata who all add to the credibility of this grimy album. With its sweet chime melody and steady rolling beat, “Mr. Belvedere” is definitely the track to play while cruising down the boulevard looking for fun…or trouble. “Maxine” is a love song about his old Nissan that no one woman can ever compare to and “Revolution Pt. 2” is a politically minded track that touches on the neglect before and after Hurricane Katrina, genocide, and corporate takeovers - the lyrics alone should pique your interest, “we in survival mode while the corporations rob the globe/why we scared of Saddam the most?/when the main threat’s Disney, Viacom, and Coke”. The Diesel is proof positive that Double A.B. can stay true to the gritty New York sound while moving forward to shape it into something new without losing its street essence or integrity. - URB Magazine

"Double A.B. - The Diesel Review"

After grinding as a battle rapper for years, New York emcee Double A.B. is putting less emphasis on scathing punchlines and drawing more from personal material. Diesel is a cohesive and vivid Gotham City auditory memoir where just the appearance of certain guest rappers—Cormega, Nature, Vast Aire, among others—invoke grit and restlessness.After grinding as a battle rapper for years, New York emcee Double A.B. is putting less emphasis on scathing punchlines and drawing more from personal material. Diesel is a cohesive and vivid Gotham City auditory memoir where just the appearance of certain guest rappers—Cormega, Nature, Vast Aire, among others—invoke grit and restlessness.

The production on Diesel is solid, and you won’t find any club joints on the 16-track collective. But one of Double A.B.’s strong points is his unswervingly clever wordplay—something that’s refreshing in a world of short attention spans and ringtone-ready tracks that fall short in lyrical content. The record traverses the usual hip-hop narrative—girls, poverty, drugs—but draws upon witty metaphors and inventive rhyming (echinacea, what?) to deliver an underground view of Double A.B.’s NYC.

A highpoint is the C-Rayz Walz guested track “New York,” where the emcees get adjectival about New York over a minimal, tense beat, “New York grimy/New York gully/New York Shiesty/New York Hungry.” Other standouts include Double AB talking up his whip, “Maxine,” as if she were a woman, and the twanging, down-home ditty to fam, “Neighbors.”

What Double A.B. does on Diesel is create a throwback record that reminds you of how high the bar was once set for emcee. His rhyme pattern, flow and cadence come off as effortless but not thoughtless. Maybe all rappers should prep for full-lengths with battles. -

"Double A.B. - The Diesel Review"

Emerging from New York's highly competitive battle-rap scene in the late 90's, Double A.B. made a name for himself by winning high profile battles thanks to his sharp punch-lines and clever wordplay. Following his Scram Jones produced mixtape and U.S wide tour alongside GZA, Double A.B. finally drops his second full length effort, 'The Diesel'. Featuring guest appearances from the likes of Cormega, Vast Aire, C-Rayz Walz and productions by Dub Sonata and Elio Schiavo, 'The Diesel' is a skitless, 64minute slice of thumping and thought-provoking hip-hop that takes listeners on an narrated cruise through the grimey streets of the Rotten Apple.

Shifting from the highly charged to the light-hearted, 'The Diesel' features 16 tracks of new-skool hip-hop grounded in the descriptive and altogether entertaining ideologies of the old-skool originators. Take 'Maxine' which is a unique and brilliantly executed ode to Double A.B's favourite vehicle that see's him flow in a relaxed yet ferocious manner over a deep, dark and organic micro-orchestral dubscape sounding akin to a slow motion, underwater waltz. Memorable bars like "well built bitch killin'ya/ active haze deliverer to familia" and a driving chorus in which he spits "Yo none of these dames match Maxine/ my personal taxi, kept me moving fast speed/ she took me on runs selling mad weed/ even though I left mad stains in her back seat" contrast exquisitely with the beat to create one of the finest tracks of the year. A standout track from Dub Sonata's excellent 'On The Arm', the politically charged 'Revolution Pt.2' puts micro-issues into macro-perspective with on-point bars like "I ain't concerned with trying to be hardcore/ I'm concerned with genocide, bodies in Darfur/ while you're trying to shave a few points off your golf-score/ I'm trying to save a few lives, see Babylon fall". Moving further into the album, the smoky and noir-ish Stoupe-esque production of 'Cuban Cigars' captivates listeners with its rolling beat, classic Latin vocal backdrop and focused spittage whilst the dizzying wordplay and classy metaphor wrangling of the dubby, guitar-orientated 'Love Potion' showcases a unique urban love-song that you won't be afraid to pump in your whip while chilling with the man-dem. 'New York' is yet another jewel in 'The Diesel's' crown that contemporises the gritty early Mobb-Deep aesthetic to create a futuristic and driving slice of big-pimpage. Towards the end of the album, the six MC strong title track 'The Diesel' churns energetically on a minimalist and futuristic big-beat triggered soundscape.

From the insanely fast spittage on 'What to Do???' to the laidback and heartfelt flows of 'Double Dutch' Double A.B. proves to be a highly versatile rapper and his album, 'The Diesel' proves to be a thoroughly versatile affair that successfully explores urban sub-genres with unflinching ease and consistency. Refreshingly, the lyrics from many of the tracks feature in the booklet, allowing listeners to see for themselves the depth and poeticism of Double A.B's lyrical content. Be you a fan of the commercial scene or the underground, grimey gangster-rap or content-heavy backpack rap, 'The Diesel' has enough depth to keep you locked in. (AM) -

"Deuces Wild Tour"

" In about two weeks, Tyler Kreigler's '91 Lexus has driven more than 50 hours, stopped in more than 10 states and crossed the border into Canada - all the while with four hip hop artists in tow.

"It's cozy," Kreigler said, "but we're getting along."

Lincoln-native Kreigler, whose emcee name is An Hobbes, has been traveling with Lincoln's Mo Izrael and New York artists Vast Aire and Double A.B. for the first installation of the biweekly hip hop Midwest tour called The Corridor. The tour stops in Lincoln today, playing tonight with a few other artists at 9 p.m. at the State Theatre.

Iowa City hip hop artist Coolzey worked for nearly three years spearheading the tour, which stops in Nebraska, South Dakota, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri. Corridor will cycle through the stops every two weeks, each time with different headlining and local acts.

An Hobbes and Coolzey met about two years ago at a show in Omaha, at which point Coolzey had inklings of the Corridor Tour in mind. Once the tour materialized, Coolzey invited Hobbes to be the local artist to accompany headliners Vast Aire and Double A.B. From that connection, Hobbes and Mo Izrael got the chance to join Vast on his national Dueces Wild Tour to promote his new album.

"Mo and I didn't really have to do anything, we just had to get directions," Hobbes said. "It just ended up that we had the time and the car, so we expanded the tour to a nationwide event."

Since Hobbes and Mo picked up Vast and Double A.B. in New York about two weeks ago, they've had 10-, 16- and even 18-hour driving days, spanning from Canada to Colorado. The four have gotten along in the close quarters, and they celebrate every opportunity to get out and stretch their legs - especially 6-foot-8 Vast.

"This motherfucker's got his knee caps comin' out the sun roof," Double A.B. said, while the group laughed.

Their drive to Lincoln today was a short one, no more than three or four hours.

"That's like 40 minutes for us," Double A.B. said.

Hobbes and Mo are especially looking forward to tonight's show in Lincoln, where the lacking hip hop scene has been an added obstacle in their musical careers. The underground scene when we started was really tiny, but it's starting to pick up pace," Hobbes said. "(The Corridor Tour) offers a lot of opportunity to spread hip hop in Lincoln.

"We're hoping to have at least a couple hundred people there (tonight)."

Vast and Double A.B., though coming from the sleepless New York hip hop scene, also look forward to the audience's enthusiasm. In New York, where hip hop artists and shows are abundant, the crowd sometimes gets "saturated" and sedated, they said.

"When you come out to the states like this, (audience members) really want to show their appreciation," Vast said. "We'll bring you a little piece of New York, and the crowd will leave a little piece of Nebraska (with us)."

The artists emphasized the difference between their hip hop and most radio music.

"That's one of the biggest misunderstandings or stigmas now. When we tell people we're hip hop, they instantly think of what they hear on the radio," Hobbes said. "Most of the time, the stuff you hear on the radio you find to be mostly chorus and (have) not much meaning or structure."

Instead, Hobbes was largely attracted to hip hop by its message, wide range of expression and sense of close-knit community. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln alum graduated with a philosophy degree and writes mostly about ethics and comics. He said he uses hip hop as a platform.

"Maybe the best way to describe the difference in hip hop and 'rap' is that hip hop speaks of real life. Rap talks about an imaginary life of throwing lots of money on top of half-naked women," Hobbes said. "I write about my personal philosophies and write about video games and comics and nerdy stuff."

Hobbes and Lincoln emcee Newsense form The Awkword. Starting out, they played anywhere they could, including the biker spot Duggan's Pub, where their audience eventually walked out "because they didn't want to listen to us."

The Awkword released its first album, "Left Speaker Right Speaker," two years ago and is in the process of making a second.

Still, the artists value live shows above all else. Especially among artists who aren't getting MTV air time, live shows are the biggest opportunities to spread their name.

"Get your show proper because that's your video," Vast said. "The live show for an indie artist, I don't care if you're punk, rock, hip hop ... that's your chance to captivate somebody."

written by Andrea Vasquez - The Daily Nebraskan

"Double A.B. - The Diesel Review"

Double AB :: The Diesel :: Armed & Brutal Records

(as reviewed by Pedro 'DJ Complejo' Hernandez)

Double AB is almost famous. He's been ever so close to being a household name, yet even to relatively knowledgeable hip-hop heads his name draws a blank. A battle rap veteran, Double AB has competed in the famed Blaze battle series as well as appearing in national publications and MTV on more than one occasion. Jin parlayed a few weeks of verses on BET's 106 & Park into a Ruff Ryders record deal and a successful independent career. Double AB on the other hand has had to be independent from the start. His first CD, "New York Minute" didn't even register a blip on the hip-hop scene, underground or commercial. "The Diesel" is his second full length and follows a mixtape hosted by Scram Jones. Chock full of heavy guest appearances, it sure looks like Double AB is trying his best to put his name out there.

Whether Double AB actually accomplishes his goal is still up in the air, but one listen to "The Diesel" and you'll see that the music isn't the problem. Double AB isn't the next incarnation of Rakim, but as far as battle emcees go he makes the transition to full songs pretty well. "Mr. Belvedere" is a tongue in cheek metaphor for the fact that Double AB "serves" you with rhymes and weed – the drug talk sounds a bit forced, but overall it's a good listen. "Neighbors" shows more versatility as AB vividly describes life in his apartment building and the different characters he encounters. "Take Me Away" gives us the first big guest star in the form of Cormega and this is where Double AB's weaknesses first start to show. Lyrically the man is on point with his and doesn't give us straight up battle raps on every verse (the problem many battle rappers encounter), but at the same time his voice lacks the emotion and maturity that his peers show. The disparity doesn't get more apparent than on "Save My Soul" where he trades verses with Nature:

Double AB:
"The Crypt Keeper and his evil laugh
Keep haunting my nightmares, wish I could flee the past
But the Grim Reaper's feet are fast
He must be wearing Air Max under that sheet of black
So if he leads me back to the cemetery to rot
Just make sure to plant pot in my burial plot
Couple Dutches and my old school stereo box
Ghetto-blaster, that's square like a cereal box"

"Fast asleep when the pastor preached
About the devil in this day where we ask for sweets
And wear masks of all the famous people that's deceased
Degrading, forgetting the ones that never made it
In the streets they laid in, blood gets soaked in
The thugs stay soaking, wound stay open
For years the tear drops have built up
Dire been thrown when the casket's sealed up
Babies being born at the very same time
As a man dies, all fair in God's eyes"

There's plenty of care put into Double AB's lyrics, but his voice lacks the emotion needed for such a somber track and the corny metaphors ("square like a cereal box") don't go well with the subject matter. Nature on the other hand shows his veteran skills and savvy by keeping it simple and direct. Double AB is far from wack, but the refinement needed in his voice is something that will only come with time. His voice remains unchanged on tracks like "Maxine" and "Dedication" though one track pays homage to a car, while the other is a very serious heartfelt tribute to a loved one.

Overall, "The Diesel" is a solid effort for Double AB. Like most battle rappers making the transition (Canibus, Chino Xl, etc..) there are things left to be desired, but given the varied topics Double AB covers he is definitely heading in the right direction. The production, supplied mostly by Dub Sonata, is smooth, soulful east-coast styled production inspired by the golden era boom bap. There are one or two duds to be found in the mix ("Cuban Cigars" being the most glaring example), but the rest of the songs supply plenty of witty wordplay to keep you entertained. For fans of battle influenced street-hop, "The Diesel" will suit your needs well. Even if that isn't your flavor, you'd be smart to keep the man in your radar as he should only get better as time goes by. -


Double A.B. Albums

Double A.B. - "The Diesel" - Latest LP 2008
Double A.B. - "Blazed & Amused" - mixtape with Scram Jones 2006
Double A.B. - "New York Minute" - Debut LP 2002

Double A.B. appears on:

Vast Aire - "Sour Diesel" (12" b-side, upcoming 2010 release)
Karniege - "Can I Kick It?" - 2009
Dub Sonata - "The Deluxe Sedition" - 2009
Vast Aire - "Deuces Wild" - 2008
Access Immortal - "Last Summer in Brooklyn" - 2008
Swave Sevah - "Ong Bak" - 2008
The Aztext - "The Sacred Document" - 2008
Mighty Joseph - "Mighty Joseph" - 2007
Dub Sonata - "On The Arm" - 2007
C-Rayz Walz - "The Dropping" - 2007
C-Rayz Walz - "Chorus Rhyme" 2007
Team Napalm - "The Invason" - 2006
Dom Pachino - "Operation Warface" - 2006
The Aztext - "Haven't You Heard?" - 2006
Dom Pachino - "The Grunge" - 2005
DJ Cip One - "Trifecta" - 2004

Airplay & live appearances on New York fm stations like WNYU 89.1, WFNP 88.7, WMSC 90.3. Streaming online and live appearances on The Wax Cafe Show on PNC Radio, Streetborn Radio, etc.



Born and raised on the streets of New York City during its infamous '80's crack epidemic, Double A.B. soaked in the culture of the city around him. That same culture and experience would later manifest itself in the form of rap lyrics. Writing rhymes since age eleven, it wasn't until A.B. started ripping up competitors in the mid '90's battle rap scene, that his reputation started to solidify throughout his native city. Victorious appearances in Blaze magazine's Blaze Battle in '98 and again in '99 garnered Double A.B. with a taste of the national attention he had been craving. Battles on MTV's Direct Effect in '01 and MTV's first large scale MC Battle in '03, in which A.B. battled his way down to the top 10 of a whopping 1,000 competitors, solidified his reputation.
Releasing his first album, New York Minute, completely independently A.B. moved thousands of units literally out of the trunk of his car. On the heels of this release Double A was invited to appear on the highly acclaimed "Best Damn Rap Tour". The Scion sponsored 40 city tour was headlined by the Wu-Tang Clan's GZA, and featured Cannibal Ox and C-Rayz Walz, as well as Double A.B. himself. His next release, Blazed & Amused, the mixtape hosted by Grammy-nominated producer Scram Jones, saw even more success, reaching an even wider audience.
Having ripped up stages across the country, A.B. returned to New York and teamed with producer Dub Sonata (Kool G Rap, Rhymefest, Serius Jones) to prepare for his next commercial release: The Diesel. This highly anticipated follow-up album echoes the gritty audio landscape that is the undercurrent of New York City itself. The album features collaborations with Hip-Hop legends such as Cormega, Nature, Vast Aire of Cannibal Ox, Dom Pachino of Killarmy, C-Rayz Walz and more. The Diesel is sure to enrapture new and old Hip-Hop fans alike, bringing a futuristic edge to the classic sound of golden-era New York rap. Instant classic. 'Nuff said.