Local Review: Spose tries role as Andre 3000

Posted on December 01, 2013 in Arts & Culture
By Sam Hill

For everyone who has had their fingers crossed, hoping for Andre 3000 and Big Boi to reunite and drop a classic Outkast album, we’ve got good news for you. No, Outkast isn’t back, but Maine-native Spose has resurrected some of the best beats from their vault giving the world another full album of backwoods rap with Dankonia.

Spose is a wordsmith, plain and simple. His vocabulary may be broader than the syllabus for any intro English course at USM, and his flow is off-the-charts smooth. not that Dankonia should be added as required material, but Spose takes his brand seriously. “Up in Maine where it’s two below and I don’t rap ‘bout no groupie hoes,” he raps on “Coolio” and he sticks to it.

From rapping about his mom finding his weed in high school and giving him a lesson in keeping clean on “Hide Your Drugs,” to his tremendous debt and bounced checks on “Broke as Me,” there’s no way you can’t relate if you’re a Mainer. “16 Counties” even includes a chopped up sample of a chorus singing the  classic elementary school Maine counties song. He even gives our governor a shoutout on the track, rapping, ““F–k Paul LePage/There’s no way he could be from where we’ve all been raised.” While everyone jumps on the buy local trend, Spose is just starting up the rap local campaign.

Lyrics aside, Spose does Outkast justice on these tracks. The description of the album on Bandcamp (where you can download it for free) simply reads, “Vignettes and Tangents in the Key of OutKast.” With beats from the well-known tracks, like “The Way You Move,” “Bombs Over Bagdahd” and “Ms. Jackson,” mixed with some of the hidden gems like “Elevators” and “Aquemini,” there’s a good mix for the hardcore Outkast listeners and the fairweather Top-40 fan. Spose imitates Andre’s flow in the exact spots you’d want him to and switches it up as soon as it becomes to much.

“Hollywood Divorce” is an absolute must-listen on the album. With rappers Essence and Mike B on the track as well, the tremendous trio come together for the only song over 5-minutes long on the album. “Coolio” gives listeners another story of Spose’s journey to Hollywood and back, recounting his booking agent saying Spose reminded him of arguably laughable rapper Coolio. . Oh, and there are songs titled “Mountain Dew and Aerosmith” and “Twerking at a Funeral.” Seriously.

People love Spose. Whether you turn up his album for the witty lyrics, classic beats, silly stories or you just like hearing that there’s still a rapper out there with less money in his pocket with you, it’s going to be a good time. Major record deal or not, Spose is the Mainer’s champ.