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Cincinnati, Ohio, United States | INDIE

Cincinnati, Ohio, United States | INDIE
Band Hip Hop


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The returning
Love E.P.
A short road E.P.



As a new, up and coming MC Survive is inspired by the best MC’s like Rakim, Kool G Rap, Public Enemy, Mc Lyte, Nas and Wu Tang. What inspires him the most is how they changed the game through their lyrical style and content, maintained their integrity throughout their careers.
What Survive respects about hip hop is also what he would like to bring back to hip hop. He wants to create classic albums that defy time and bring back the positivity and knowledge back to the music.

Survive's first cd was his demo called the Returning, which was a statement of his mission in the hip hop game. Survive is on a mission to make classical hip-hop music to defy time and bring positivity and knowledge to his lyrics. The Returning features the song Me & The Alien, which is the debut of Survive's mischievous extraterrestrial friend.
Survive's next musical project was dubbed The Love EP and included the well received "What Is It?" which he performed to a receptive crown at the R&B Café. Other hot tracks include Deep concentration, and a return of the alien in a planet hoping adventure “On Tour.”

The latest self-produced album is “The Short Road EP.” This album is a darker turn for the talented MC. With tracks that touch on lost hopes and crushed dreams of urban existence Survive creates a tapestry of lyrics and beats that are painted for characters in pain and despair. While there have been some touches of nihilism in his previous ventures this album takes the tone a step further as Survive continues to stretch his legs as a storyteller.

The first track on the record is "Stop Signs" a call for those with ambitions to continue to chase their dreams. The track is gritty, with distortion so thick I had to check my speakers when I first heard it to be sure whether it was my equipment or the music. The beat falls and rises with a sharp snare that Survive follows as he implores people to ignore the obstacles in their life. It is a fitting opening to an album that reminds us of the difficulties that can ensnare the hopeful on the path.

The next track is "Exit 42" where Survive talks about the self-denigration and demoralization that seems part and parcel with the current state of popular music. The beat is haunting, with a slight moaning horn over the single piano keynote that strikes faintly in the distance. A violin is strummed over the hook as Survive repeats how negativity and disgrace seem to follow the short road to success. Despite the reminders of the dangers on the path Survive reminds the listener "you are not useless, you can be a success." The message is clear on this track, selling out is never worth the toll on the soul. It is as though Survive were taking the listener on a walk through the metaphoric landscape of the hip-hop genre to remind them of the positive and negatives of forgoing your integrity for lucre.

My favorite song on the EP is Alien Love, a testament to the dangers of diving too quickly into sexual relations. The song has a laid-back synth sound relying heavily on the guitar strings with the co-producer Drew providing the hook. While Survive follows the Alien into a doomed relationship Drew encourages the listener to "estimate the situation, way before penetration crosses your mind." The song plays with Survives lyrics a little behind the music, as though you were trying to make out his voice over the tunes in a bar. Although it is not in the sample, you can almost hear the clink of glasses in the background and smell the cigarette smoke as the Alien makes a fateful attempt at a new conquest.

The final track on the Short Road EP is entitled Giving up. It comes in hard with Survive telling the stories of Jane and Malik, two young kids with aspirations of Law and medicine. Their dreams are cut short by the devastating reality of urban existence, where just having goals can be a shortcoming when obstacles like negative peer groups and institutional requirements stand in the way. The way Survive unfolds the tale makes t difficult to not sympathize with the characters while still placing an onus on their personal responsibilities in their downfalls. It seems that despite their impediments there were still choices that had been made in their situations. They didn't have to go the route they did. It speaks to the sadness of children with lofty ambitions who find despair in frequent setbacks and see no other way out.

Before the Final track ends Survive stops to remind us all about the title of the EP, and that the "Short Road" is the path to destruction. It is telling that he gives the reminder on a song called Giving up. Survive is someone who has been toiling on the dream of creating hip hop for almost a decade, and instead of turning in his mic for the short road, that could lead to more material success or notoriety. For all those Rappers who seem to laud their participation in the narcotics trade Survive is a refreshing example of an MC who is willing to put in for the long