13
Aug 02

MR HECTIC – Discovery

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What was the most startling thing about Eminem’s ‘Stan’? The supposed sensitivity of the formerly cartoon yob? The genuine sentiment in its lyrics? The role-playing and success of Slim Shady being able to emote in both roles (not that we should be surprised at his ability to inhabit characters – he has been telling us that it was his shtick
from Day One)? Its deceptive gentleness, the way that the sample lulled in generations who still do the C-Rap joke? Or was it that there was this sweet sample in itself, given room to breath and chop out an entire chorus without Eminem spoiling it.

We did not know then who Dido was and more importantly what she would become, but beyond all the depths of the lyrics and the rap – it is the Dido sample that initially impresses. It is also about the only part of ‘Stan’ that is easily emulated. Find an obscure, sweet chorus elsewhere and take it and its instrumentation to underpin your rap. Problem is that no matter how good your sample is, if you start with it and reintroduce it in full in exactly the same sequence as ‘Stan’ then you are unfortunately going to draw comparisons to yourself. And while I can spend ages holding the snatch of Dido’s ‘Thank You’ to the Frente-esque sample in Discovery, this track is credited to Mr.Hectic.

A new name to me out of the legion of UK Hip-Hop that has very recently been introduced to me, Hectic unfortunately fails to capitalise on any other aspect of Eminem’s work which might have given him a hand. Yes this is another UK Hip-Hop track about a lousy upbringing (teachers don’t get a very good rep in UK hip-hop). True – Hectic brings the subject of suicide into the song later, but merely as a first person device to show how desperate he is – it is held up somewhat disconcertingly as yet another piece of braggadocio. Told in muggy, thickset raps with enough lyrical dexterity to get your Key Stage 3 in rap but barely up to GCSE standard – Discovery does not go anywhere, limping back to its admittedly naggingly pretty sample. Naggingly pretty but shockingly twee too, employing the kind of voice and metaphors that made Sarah Records name in the eighties. All I want to discover from the track is the provenance of this sample to hunt out and confirm to myself that the rest of the track is quite as limp too. Hectic has produced an interesting hybrid, definitely better than his rap and probably better than the source of the sample. But actually not all that good overall.

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