MONOTONE is a veteran West Coast emcee, and his mission is clear. He is making Hip-hop. And he doesn’t have time for any other BS. As one half of the Sacramento, California based group (Monotone and Lou Slug), he has released a steady stream of records over the past decade. He has been featured on several major artists projects, as well. For 2020 Monotone has a couple of new solo tracks available on all major streaming services.
“Clutch Rambis” is Monotone’s latest single, released 4/21/20. The track is steeped in old school flavor, which is all by design. The song opens with excerpts of 1980’s sports broadcasters discussing legendary Lakers’ power forward, Kurt Rambis. Rambis was a famously no-frills, get the job done player. He was function over form, no flash, all substance. The track is not solely or specifically about him. However, through the course of the song, the basketball player functions as a symbol of work ethic and integrity.
Over a cool beat built on old-time Jazz samples, Monotone tells the tale of his own dedication to getting the job done, and cutting through the noise. As he says, this is “full grown man shit.” The rapper uses basketball metaphors, movie references and stories from his own neighborhood to make his point. There is plenty of fun, old school Hip-hop bragging and smack talking too. My favorite line is, “smooth gently, but when enraged… Bill Bixby.” It’s a reference to the 1970’s TV star’s role as Dr. David Banner on The Incredible Hulk.
In an age of SoundCloud rappers who drop one minute rhymes over beats they bought online, Monotone’s hands-on approach to his art is refreshing. And the man knows how to rhyme. In his words he is the , “goggle wearin’, hard hat doin’, dude that get out on the court and put it in.” You can listen to him getting it done on the Deep Indie Beat playlist. And follow the links below to connect with the MLS crew.