THIRD DEGREE DROP DEBUT ALBUM – PHASE ONE

Are you aware that Mumbai-Goa based hip hop act Third Degree released an album recently? Well if you are not, you should be as surprised as we are.

After dropping their lead single "Midnite Heat" in September, the rappers have kept to their word and followed up with a the full compilation as they promised.

The Exceleon Music artists dropped Phase 1, their debut album earlier this month in a low key event, but the quality of the music in the compilation is simply astonishing if you love a party vibe to your hip hop, and not in the EDM sense, but like a good ol' 90s West Coast hip hop party.

The three man crew consisting of Phenom, Bonafide and Koncept are unapologetic about their love for the golden era hip hop and R&B having grown up to the sounds of Tupac, R. Kelly etc. You can feel these artists in their music, although Third Degree do not fail to add an Indian tinge to all their instrumentals, so that if you were to hear the instrumentals only, you would not fail to sense India in the mix.

From a lyrical perspective, the trio is once again brazen about what they love to rhyme about, ladies, parties, and more ladies.

The Seven track album opens on a high note with "Drop it", a party banger that makes you want to head straight for a golden era hip hop bash, even if you never attended one.

Next comes "Get Back", which goes "Lemme see you bounce that a** ".. and on to "she wanna do it like a pro like she dipping for cash." The beat is bass heavy and just what a DJ might need to work up the crowd at the midnight hour.

"Cure" on the other hand is slightly mellow, and about a girl that calls Pinaki when her man is not around. The Indian strings on this one are prominenty and I must add, beautifully laid over the hip hop beat.

"Come Over" has that "Snake" (R. Kelly) feel, and the hook goes "Girl I want your body, come over". Not the hardest track on the album, but one you might wanna bump while laying back on the couch with a drink

"Close" as the name suggests is also dedicated to the girls, and feels slightly similar to "Come over". Bass is heavy, and with a conspicuous Indian sample, it does not deviate from the general theme of the album.

"Back In Time" is the only thing close to sad on this album, as the lyrics fondly reminisce a girl lost to the pursuit of riches elsewhere. The lines use imagery of the moon, wind and sea, in what is actually the only tear jerker on the entire playlist. Ironically, the beat for this track reminded me of Ice Cube's hard sound, unapologetically West Coast, and never anything close to a love song.

Then on the last track, which was the first release from the album, Shibani Dandekar & Apeksha Dandekar lend their smooth vocals to"Midnite Heat", a raunchy joint with one of the ladies singing "I feel your heartbeat through the sheets, in this midnite heat".

The production quality of this album is simply unbelievable for an underground Indian hip hop act, and I feel there is a need to rework the promotion strategy, otherwise a good opportunity for a potential market might be lost. It's simply unacceptable that many bedroom recordings reach more ears just due to aggressive promotion. The studio work on this album has been great, now the real job, marketing begins. keep the pedal to the metal to take this album the full circle.

Download and listen to Midnite Heat in the link below.

Audio Link for the full album:

http://soundcloud.com/thethirddegreeoriginals/sets/phase-one/

Listen to the tracks at the links below.

1. Drop it

2. Get Back

3. Cure

4. 'Come Over

5. Close

6. Back in Time

7. Midnight Heat


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