There’s been so many underrated and undervalued rappers who released material from the noughties to the teenies that it’s hard to quantify. This particular generation of Hip-Hop artists have been pushed aside to make way for weaker Hip-Pop artists, in fact if a rapper or group made traditional nineties-sounding music during this period they were outright ignored by the media and subsequently relegated to the underground through no fault of their own. This is a perfect description of Da Buze Bruvaz, a Hip-Hop duo from Philadelphia made up of rappers Clever One and Him-Lo. These two have been making music for many years and simply because their style is unashamedly “golden era”, coupled with the fact that they have no social media presence, the public haven’t taken to the pair in a big way (like they ought to).
Often described as “North Philly’s Rae and Ghost”, Clever One and Him-Lo indeed bring that old-school, slick flow reminiscent of Wu-Tang’s Raekwon and Ghostface Killah. Clever One (sometimes spelled Clever 1) has the more rugged sound and a gruffer voice whereas Him-Lo (sometimes called Him Lo Da Inappropriate) sports smoother vocals. With an affinity for alcohol and a band name that references the John Belushi and Dan Akroyd creation, Da Buze Bruvaz are definitely unique, and their contrasting yet complementary vocals is what makes this duo stand out, especially in this period heaving with generic Trap deliveries.
The pair have released three EPs (Cheesesteakz N Beat Breakz in 2013, Da Uninvited Guest in 2014, and Straight Shotz In Dirty Glasses in 2015). They also dropped two full length albums in 2017 (Adebisi Hat and Bermuda TriAngle: UnderWater Pyramidz with Alca Da Headscalpa) and I have to say, each of these releases have contained numerous memorable tracks, Adebisi Hat which opens with a sample of Alfred Hitchcock’s Music To Be Murdered By, is a classic LP. Here’s a taste of Da Buze Bruvaz in case you’ve never heard of them…
“Dental Workz” (2012)
“Champion Sweatahz” (2012)
“The Horsemen Cometh” (2015)
“U.S. Embassy” featuring Ruste Juxx (2017)
If the Hip-Hop community wasn’t so concerned with conforming to mainstream trends and TV or radio-friendly aesthetics, Da Buze Bruvaz would definitely be mentioned alongside the all-time legends of the past. I’m certain that if the music business was as it was in the nineties (willing to sign nonconformist artists and promote underground sounds) these two would be rightly recognised as a great Hip-Hop duo. If you’re a fan of classic Hip-Hop dyads such as EPMD, Smif-N-Wessun, Smith Bros., Mobb Deep, and Capone-N-Noreaga but haven’t heard of Him-Lo and Clever One, I urge you to check Da Buze Bruvaz out. Their slick, back-and-forth rhymes, their polished deliveries, their chemistry and their interdependent personas, everything about Clever One and Him-Lo makes them worthy of recognition. Support real Hip-Hop and cop these dudes’ music, you won’t be disappointed.