ALBUM REVIEW: Tales Of An Appalachian King by Teacher Preacher

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Teacher Preacher is a hip hop artist hailing from Georgia and describes himself as a ‘seasoned underground veteran’, having been in the music industry for a decade. In that time, he has amassed 500 performances including MTV’s Spring Break and has been opening act for Peaty Pablo and Club La Vela in Florida. He has also featured on numerous mix tapes including Trapboy Music, Coast2Coast, Legend of Doom and Hood Hard, whilst also working with a range of artists from around the world.

This album, Tales Of An Appalachian King, consists of sixteen tracks of hip hop with elements of RnB, pop and even country. First track The Boss starts with a monologue from boxer Mike Tyson which sets an intense mood. Teacher Preacher then lays down some equally intense verses over a skittish beat and angular piano melody, with a bassline so deep it’s almost subterranean. He has a distinctive and free flowing rapping style, with a wide ranging lexicon and adept capacity for rhythm and rhyme.

He also invites fellow rappers and guest vocalists along for the party, which adds variety. A good example is second track Ken Folks ft. D Thrash, which melds hip hop with a country vibe to great effect and features an addictive chorus. Dixie Boy Pride is Teacher expressing his love and pride of his Southern roots to a funky hip hop backing. He sounds menacing as he warns ‘If you want, come and tussle with a Georgia boy…’.

Other highlights for me were Taking Backroads which features a great hook sung by Black Betties, whilst Hustling For Nothing ft. Boondock Kings is a brutally honest depiction of gangster life. The self-explanatory In Love With Chevrolet ft. Dez is a catchy track based around a swirling harpsichord melody and Back Together Again ft. Focus shows his more romantic side. Streets Remix is a smooth piece of RnB whilst the controversial closing track They Watching deals with government surveillance and corruption: ‘They cure HIV, they got a cure for cancer, they using frequencies, but they tell us there’s no answer…’.

Overall this is a very fine album that is essentially old school hip hop but incorporates many styles and sounds across the course of the sixteen tracks, and the large supporting cast of emcees and vocalists further add to the variety. There is also contrast formed by the subject matter, varying from visceral and political to thoughtful and romantic, with a few tracks showing the lighter sides to life too. Teacher Preacher already has a large fan base, so this album will be preaching to the converted, but he will be earn plenty of new fans with this release.

 

Alex Faulkner

Verdict: 8.7 out of 10

 

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