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Band Hip Hop R&B


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The best kept secret in music


" The Shaw Shanks, from Vakseen Productions, have been putting it down for a minute."

The Shaw Shanks, from Vakseen Productions, have been putting it down for a minute. MC's Jaxx & I.V. make up the duo from Jacksonville, Florida, and their producer is IllMuzik's own Vakseen. With nothing but raw talent and the drive to elevate in this industry, we took the time to check out their latest offering, "Wordplay".

This is an album compiled of really raw and rugged beats and hard old school underground rap. The beats are really straight forward and hard, almost pounding my eardrums off. The rap is really nice with a real old school vibe brought forward by nice style and flow. The use of many takes layered on top of each

other and many voices filling in also enhance this old school feeling . Even the old school cut "Aayeah" is brought into the intro of track6 "Off Glass!" just to prove my point. It makes me laugh a bit and I see it as a nice flirt/joke to the listener.

The beats are mostly straight forward and pounding but in no way simplistic. They hold nice little bits and pieces, breaks and subtelties. I defenetly feel a red thread through the whole album stylewise and composition-wise.

Certain tracks stand out of the crowd, like track 11 "What A Crock (Feat. Art)". It houses really nice singig by Art and a little more laidback style. And track 15 "Inspirational Rations (Feat. Claud Myers & Melodeas)" is really soulfull with nice singing by Claud over a nice mellow and soft beat. This is more my cup of tea personally and makes by head bob back and forth something wild.

In the genre of hard hitting beats and raw rugged old school vibes, this is really good and it all works. The compositions are nice and the productions solid. The soundscape is dark and full like a big rug mat laying over all 16 tracks. I give this a solid 3.5 out of 5. And if you're into the more raw and rugged sound you defenetly should check this out. But I also get the distinct feeling that this is not for all. If this isn't the prefered style this could perhaps get a bit hard to swallow. This is in no way an "easy listening" experience. - by Andreas


The Shaw Shanks-The WORDPLAY EP
The Shaw Shanks-WORDPLAY available at


Feeling a bit camera shy


If Dr. Dre, RZA and Organized Noize had a bastard child, it would be VAKSEEN. Born in Athens, GA under the harvest moon on August 9, 1979 as Otha J. Davis, III, VAKSEEN has reaped an extensive knowledge of Hip Hop over the past 26 years. Now he is sowing his creative seeds by composing unique, neck snapping Hip Hop tracks that will impress any true harvester of quality music.

VAKSEEN’s talent is in high demand as he is fully producing seven albums concurrently, all to be
released in 2006. VAKSEEN Productions has four artists under its umbrella including The Shaw
Shanks, Jaxx, Melodeas and Prolifik. VAKSEEN has also produced tracks for internationally renowned
spoken word artist and slam champion, Lizz Straight, as well as tracks for Earbal Tactics, Dstruction, D. James, Debra Cassano, GBC, Season, Language Arts, Cancer Mike, and many other artists on the national Hip Hop scene. On top of producing for all these artists, he also records and mixes all of the work put out by VAKSEEN Productions.

VAKSEEN handles his tracks, whether they are 100% original or sample based compositions, as
precious art. He is known for turning out intricate melodies laced with funky keys, throbbing bass,
hard hitting drum foundations, and soul stirring guitars. VAKS can bless mc’s with grimy, street
tracks, riddled with remnants of soul and originality that has seemingly vanished from Hip Hop,. In contrast, VAKS is also known for being able to flip things up with hard hitting 808 funk or
something BIG, clean and catchy for the “radio”. VAKSEEN describes his style as “…soul fusion,
because of the many different influences behind it. Whether it be Jazz, R&B Soul, Rock, Blues, Hip Hop
or whatever…there’s diversity, but at the same time u can tell its mine cause of the hard drums and
the distinct sound and high quality. It’s time for a change in music man...” VAKS is also a songwriter,
thus an added benefit to artists in need of catchy hooks or verses.

The thoughtful artwork displayed in VAKSEEN’s production is only to be expected. In addition to
being a producer and songwriter, VAKSEEN is also a highly acclaimed artist and actor
(Conversations With the Devil, 2003, lead role).