2012 looks like it is going to be another great year for hip-hop especially Bay Area hip-hop with forthcoming releases from both new and established acts. These include the first solo release in over a decade from Pep Love of Oakland's long running Hieroglyphics hip-hop collective who will drop his anticipated new full-length Rigmarole via the Hiero Emporium on March 6th.
The album, which is the first solo release (he has recorded stuff with his Hiero crew and others including respectively Casual and Zion I) from the Mississippi born East Bay emcee since 2001's Ascension, was described by the artist as therapeutic, coming to his aid at a challenging time in his personal life.
"[Rigmarole] was recorded during a time in my life when the music I was making was one of the few things that was actually working. It was therapy; it made me feel better. So there was a lot of learning, personal growth, and healing that continues to this very day. I was focused on where I was headed as a human being more than as a rapper or recording artist," he said of the new album's recording process, adding that, "In the process, I reinvented myself as an artist and discovered my love for what I do."
The therapeutic theme is evident in the album's lyrics too with the song "Reflections," which is produced by Unjust, examining his own life and where it is at nowadays while in the lyrics of the track "Runaway Slave" the 37 year old emcee wears his heart on his sleeve and expresses how he sees his own personal mental/creative development as an individual who has been in the ever challenging rap music industry for so long.
Not surprisingly it is this creative reawakening & mental catharsis of Pep Love's that also inspired his new album's title, Rigmarole. "The word rigmarole means the necessary steps or process that one must go through to achieve a certain end. With my Rigmarole, then, it speaks to the process that I went through and go through as an individual and an artist – and also to the greater process of cultural evolution that hip-hop and society is experiencing," said Pep Love. Look for Rigamarole in Amoeba Music on March 6th.