Vespertina: The Waiting Wolf

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Although you may not recognize the name Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind, you’ve likely heard some of his music. He is the genius responsible for most of Jedi Mind Tricks’ sample-based beats and he has collaborated with some other well-established underground rappers. His resume includes every Jedi Mind Tricks album from 1997-2008 and the Canibus CD “Rip The Jacker.” After making a name for himself in the hip hop community, Stoupe reportedly became tired of making rap and moved on to some other projects.

In 2011 he teamed up with Lorrie Doriza, whom I can’t find any information on, thereby creating the group Vespertina. Their first and only album to date is “The Waiting Wolf.” How did Stoupe’s transition from hip hop to other music work, you might ask. Well if you want my opinion (which I hope you do if you’re reading this blog), pretty damn well. The reason? Stoupe stuck to what he knew best: producing fantastic beats. Where it differs from the Jedi Mind Tricks formula is that rather than JMT lead singer Vinnie Paz’s gruff screaming, Lorrie Doriza lends her smooth, crooning voice to the hip-hop instrumentation. The tracks aren’t as ridden with obscure samples as his Jedi Mind Tricks work, but the often haunting beats pair perfectly with Doriza’s beautiful vocals and equally haunting lyrics.

The album is pretty cohesive, so if you get a chance try to listen to it as a whole. I’m a firm believer that real albums are intended to be listened to from first track to last. Before the rise of digital music distribution, artists tried to sell albums not singles. And that is the case with “The Waiting Wolf.” If you’re feeling generous, grab a copy from Amazon and support the artists. If you’re strapped for cash, the group is offering the album as a free download to honor their one-year release anniversary. Try it and see if you like it. What’s not to love about this? Great music for free, and [this time] it is legal.

If you really like this album, check out the Dutch record “A Bright Cold Day.” This 2010 release features Stoupe in collaboration with Liz Fullerton. It isn’t free, but you can get it on Amazon or iTunes and it is worth the money. Cop “The Waiting Wolf” and “A Bright Cold Day” and just think of it as a buy one get one free coupon.

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