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"Excerpt from 49Stories. - "Blind Faith""

Blind Faith is a conceptual album that delivers a live pulse through the veins of listener's world wide. Blind Faith possesses music everyone can relate to, understand, and deeply vibe. 49 Stories forges their own style, without turning off one listener. Powerful music continuously blesses Blind Faith, bringing about real emotions that are deeply felt. If one was to define meaning in hip hop music on a universal level, Blind Faith would sum it up. Blind Faith is everything a hip hop fan could desire in an album. 49 Stories is a highly talented group that easily impresses fans with every word, rhyme, beat, and song.

"Paradox - "Hiatus""

Written by Libby Wait

I have this theory that rap and hip-hop are dying. Dying might be too harsh of a word; maybe degrading or maybe simply experiencing a transition period. No matter what word I use, rap music is changing in a negative way. Artists reuse the same bass-heavy beats and violent and sex-infused lyrics. It is not that this rap music is necessarily bad, it’s just that the music all sounds the same. It is almost as if rap music is inbreeding; there is so little variety that the genre is falling apart. The only people that seem to be keeping the genre in a healthy, functioning state are those underground rappers that are capable of producing creative and original music. When one of these rappers appears, it is truly refreshing to hear his (or her) unique sound. That is exactly how it feels to listen to Paradox’s album Hiatus: refreshed.

Matt Klassen a.k.a. Paradox released Hiatus, his first solo album, after returning from a two-year stint in Belize. Living in Belize obviously had a profound effect on Paradox. His approach to humanity, poverty, the United States, and many other aspects of life were all strongly impacted by his living in a foreign country. Hiatus seems to be dedicated to sharing and also discovering the new beliefs and sentiments that Paradox acquired from his two-year experience. Paradox uses his music not only as an outlet to express his more world-weary views, but also as a method of discovering his own feelings on music and life. Each song is laced with Paradox’s passionate views on one of the many problems that the world faces, or his realizations of the fact that the world has many problems to face. “It Goes,” for example, is an observation of the issues of race that face American culture while “Bastard” is an earnest statement about the poverty and abuse many children face.

Amazingly enough, Paradox is able to provide this commentary on heavy issues without sounding cheesy or cliché like many rappers do. This is primarily due to Paradox’s intelligent and original lyrics and wordplay. While at first his voice may sound a little awkward, this feeling will quickly disappear once the listener reaches the fourth track, “Moonboots.” This track demonstrates Paradox’s amazing skill for creating graceful, rhythmic, and coherent raps. Paradox is able to create lyrics that not only rhyme and flow, but also make perfect sense. It seems that many rappers become so concerned with making their rhymes flow with the beat that they do not realize when their lyrics no longer make sense. Paradox, on the other hand, possesses an uncanny ability to generate rhymes that sound more like poetry than the lyrics to a hip-hop song. If the listener is still skeptical of Paradox’s rapping ability, one listen to “Peace,” a track in which Paradox freestyles effortlessly, will no doubt cause a change in opinion.

Paradox teamed up with many of his fellow rappers on the Voice Box Records label to produce the beats on Hiatus. Paradox rotates through funky and upbeat music such as “In Check” and “Drop the Drums,” and very intense, orchestra-heavy music like “From 49 to 50.” The beats always mesh well with whatever subject Paradox is discussing. “Sketches of Belize,” Paradox’s tribute to the lessons he learned about himself and others while in Belize, features soft guitar, flute, and drums that together project an exotic sound which is very fitting for the song. The music, while not hugely original is one of the strongest aspects of the album. It is imaginative enough to attract fans of underground rap, but it is catchy enough to appeal to fans of mainstream music.

Between his well-constructed beats, humanitarian lyrics, and witty wordplay, Paradox has crafted a solid hip-hop album that will attract any rap fan. Hiatus is a sincere and poetic glimpse of the world through the eyes of a man who has had his life profoundly altered. This glance at the world is full of so much spirit and insight that it should not be missed. Paradox, as this album displays, possesses the passion and love of music that is capable of saving the rap music genre from its downfall (and/or musical inbreeding). -


49Stories. - Blind Faith (2003, Voicebox Records)
Paradox - Hiatus (2006, Voicebox Records)


Feeling a bit camera shy


After a two-year reprieve amidst the heavy humanity of life in Belize, Paradox has returned "home" with a head-full of experiences, an altered perspective on the United States, and a commitment to promoting positive change through music. "Hiatus" is the first solo effort from Paradox, but with this release he shows himself to be no rookie on the mic, spitting observational wisdom about the things he's seen and the people he's known like a true old soul. Despite Belize's influence, as heard in the heartfelt storytelling and thought-provoking introspection found throughout, "Hiatus" remains firmly grounded in the boom bap tradition with its flurry of witty wordplay and braggadocios punch-lines. Not your average rapper, Paradox has something to tell you and plenty vocabulary to do it. Currently residing in Austin, TX, the "live music capital of the world," Paradox has already started to make a name for himself as a crowd-pleasing performer.

Before completing "Hiatus," Paradox was a member of the group 49 Stories, which shared stages with such hip hop favorites as Awol One, Josh Martinez, Mr. Lif, Fakts One, DJ Moves, MC Paul Barman, Grayskul, and Sleep of Oldominion. In 2003, 49 Stories dropped an album entitled "Blind Faith" to considerable praise from critics and fans alike. In the words of one reviewer from, "If one was to define meaning in hip hop music on a universal level, Blind Faith would sum it up... 49 Stories is a highly talented group that easily impresses fans with every word, rhyme, beat, and song."

Voicebox Records is the label that brought you:
AES - "May to December" (2003)
Sentence - "There and Back" (2005)
Shovel - Self-Titled (2006)

Booking & Publicity Contact:
Matt Klassen