In continuing with the “While We Were Out” series, a list of album from the past 14 months or so that stuck out to us, while on hiatus. This weeks pick? Heaven’s Computer by Vintage Noize artist 7Even:Thirty……
Heaven’s Computer is just your typical alien comes to Earth hell bent on destroying the planet, meets an earth girl, falls in love, has a child, reconsiders destroying the planet and ultimately trying to save his new family while appeasing his superiors. It is given to us in 3 acts, as any good story always is. Here we have the story of 7even:Thirty aka Max Redrum, introduced to us as he and his artificial companion “Alfie” land on Earth. We find out that their race have been studying the our cultures for some time. They have chosen now as the time for invasion. So 7even:Thirty is sent to the planet in order to prepare it for consumption of it’s resources. With the assistance of producers 5D and Erik L, 7 Tre-Oh delivers what can only be described as futuristic funktasticly stellar musical compositions.
Concept albums are particularly complicated when it comes to rap music. Radio and street singles always stick out like sore thumbs due to the industries inability to support diversity. So the albums always come out, forced and incomplete. Heaven’s Computer is the exception to this rule though. It maintains the subject matter through out the entire album while working in tracks which appeal to a wide range of listeners. “Twenty-Twelve” and “Get Up!!!” are lyrical resumes of sorts, they provide a proper visual of the hero of this story. Max Redrum has landed on Earth and his reign of terror is set to begin via soundtracks provided by some spaced out banging production. On “Earth Gurl” 7even spits lightning quick game with his sights set on some female companionship. Once he’s done with his night out on the town and is ready to dispose of his victim, he realizes that he has actually fallen for her. So instead of killing her, he slows it down for some “Chocolate Bliss”. I’ll leave that one up to the imagination.
Enter Act2 and the introduction to Max’s team of Intergalactic Villains. These features are well thought out, add to the album and take nothing away from it. If you’re going to have a posse of space traveling miscreants then they must fit into your plan for worldly domination. “Ahead of Our Time” is such a posse cut, it features Headkrack (The Bodega Brovas), 5-D, Gensu Dean and Mo Ney Stax, all spitting over some video game inspired production by Erik L. Fellow Jackson, MS natives Coke Bumaye and Kamikaze (Crooked Lettaz) both deliver next on “Space Gangsta” and “Mysterious Business” respectively. The invasion takes up 1/3 of the album and paints a pretty dope lyrical picture of spaceships plummeting into the atmosphere hellbent on earthly destruction.
This brings us to the close out of the project, or Act 3 of the story. On what I consider the best cut on the album “God”, Laurie Walker sings “Something changed when you came into view, my wonderful beautiful you, you don’t know what you do for me, you make me believe in God, God, God. You let me believe your my angel, you let me believe in God.” As 7even shows a human side to his character, in this case art certainly imitates life. He paints perfectly the picture of a father beholding something he has helped to create and the instant connection with the creator this moment provides. This is where the character starts to stumble in his mission, where once he was dedicated to his mission of annihilation now he’s found something else to live for. “Heaven’s Radio” continues the conversation with God and our hero begins to showcase where it is he draws his inspiration. Just as Max is having second thoughts about his duty he wakes up to a transmission from his “homebase”. The album draws a close with “Nightmare” and “Strange Life Forms” which sonically draw a picture of the end scene of Akira. As a matter of fact, if I could compare this record to anything it wouldn’t be to another musical composition, but to the 1988 Katsuhiro Ohtomo animated film. You could probabaly play Heaven’s Computer along side the film, like Pink Floyd’s The Wall (allegedly) and The Wizard of Oz, and it would match up perfectly. The Erik L produced “Strange Life Forms” draws a funky and chilling conclusion to 7even’s story. The invasion. You can actually picture the ships coming through the atmosphere slowly taking up their positions over the key cities all over the planet. Authorities have seemingly surround Max Redrum demanding that he give himself up. Then, almost regretfully, the conclusion is not a happy one as it all ends in a fireball.
Overall, this is possibly my favorite hip-hop album of the past year or so. Despite there being 3 producers involved in the production of this record, it comes together seamlessly. 7even:Thirty did an excellent job of construction this album and it would make an excellent addition to any music collection.
PURCHASE 7EVEN:THIRTY – HEAVEN’S COMPUTER