If Society Of Alumni (or members of) don’t blow up in the next couple of years, I’ll eat my hat. The hat in question is a blue slouch beanie. Admittedly, compared to a safety helmet or even the modest fedora, ingesting this item would definitely be in the shallow end of headgear consumption. Due to its soft woolly consistency, if slow boiled and heavily seasoned, with a lot of chewing I think I could munch the whole thing.
That said. Even this meagre feat of fabric digestion sounds proper unpleasant. I distinctly don’t want to do it. That’s how confident I am that the Alumni are going places.
Here’s 3 reasons why I won’t eat a hat in 2021…
For the Family:
This one’s an appropriate selection for a bunch of reasons, not least because the title neatly sums up one of the things that’s most formidable about the collective. In an ocean of young and hungry spitters willing to flow-mimic the currently cashable styles, MCs with an ethic that’s against the grain are a rare breed. Having a distinct ethic is a potent thing on its own. Forming a large family of heads with the same one, holds serious potential power. SoA have got the strength in numbers thing down. With stylistic unity and no weak links in terms of talent, the Alumni have used their combined energy to pull in the same direction and build something bigger than the members could have achieved on their own. With a channel and releases that allow dope solo efforts from artists to stand under the Society of Alumni banner alongside crew heavy tunes (instead of everyone going off hungry for spotlight on individual artist brands), the resulting output is a blueprint for notoriety.
‘For the Family’ is lifted off last year’s Here As We Are. Beyond this mellow anthem being ill as fuck, the slick video by Jomr & King Royale is a noticeable step forward in visual wizardry for the Alumni fam.
Mango Juice Sessions Cypher:
There’s something beautifully old school about seeing this young London mob (who probably weren’t born in the Golden Era) piling into a cypher with all the spirit of hip hop’s original trailblazers as if bars were as easy as breathing.
This 3 track, 11 minute, monster of a cypher features dope bars from every featured member of the Society from start to finish. More impressive than that, unless there’s been some sly editing of the raw looking footage, the whole thing seems to be one continuous live take without so much as a slur from anyone. Uncut, straight-from-the-rock, professional murkage.
With the soul of 90s hip hop pervading the SoA style throughout their catalogue to date, ‘After Hours’ is a strong example of the crew’s ability to stay true to that influence while time stamping that shit with today’s date. With a seriously murky-spacey beat providing the backdrop, fluidly interweaving back-and-forths between Alumni members form a vocal soundscape that maintains the signature smoothness with added ominous undertones. Add in the frequent switch ups between bars and melody and some rowdy adlibs and the resulting product is something crazy ill. Sonicly, ‘After Hours’ is one of those rare tunes that summons a musically induced feeling that exactly matches the premise of its title. Try listening to this tune and not picturing a late night cityscape, a crowded mash-up after party or some gloomy scenario under street lights. Ideal playlisting for late night journeys home from the club.