The Triangle hip-hop scene is still very much in an infancy stage. There are quite a few artists who are longing to be heard, however. Pandemonium, a Durham-based rapper, is one of those artists.
With his debut CD, Darker Than Blue–The Soundtrack, Pandemonium takes a spin off the 1970’s Curtis Mayfield song, “We People Who Are Darker Than Blue.” Mayfield was all about enlightening people with his music and Pandemonium works hard to stay along those lines.
Recorded mostly at Butterville Studios and the Boomhouse in Durham, Darker Than Blue is predominately produced by a couple of local talents, Leslie Blair and Ron Bridge, as well as the rapper himself. Backed by hollow keyboard lines, basic beats and simplified loops, Pandemonium raps positively about everything from black women to hanging out until the wee hours of the morning.
His first cut, “Carolina Blue,” pays homage to the Tarheel state. In the song, Pandemonium flips lyrics like “Carolina Blue/No other finer than you/when I hit hard times/I feel the mood of your hue.” There’s also the Tribe Called Quest-influenced “I Sis,” which focuses on Pandemonium’s allegiance to black women.
All in all, there’s definitely room for improvement on Darker Than Blue: The beats and raps could both be tighter, but Pandemonium is definitely on the right track. Overall, he did Mayfield proud.