Cee Gee/Genecist vibe on "Proverbz and Video Gamez"

2020 has been a very bad year for a lot of things but not so for underground hip hop. Dig around in the digital mire for a while and you’ll probably come up with something pleasing. Case in point: last Friday night on Billy Jam’s “Put The Needle On The Record” radio show there was a track featured by the Buffalo-based duo of Cee Gee (he’s the DJ) and Genecist (he’s the rapper) that caught this blogger's ear.

The track is called “I Got You” and it starts with a simple keyboard figure that’s soon backed up by a tight MPC-style beat but get this during the whole intro you also hear Miss Piggy, or a convincing facsimile, dropping ad libs over the beat. Enter Genecist with a laid-back strutting flow that locks in with the loping rhythmic underpinning--you can hear the groove in the lyrical refrain alone: “told ‘em yeah I got chu”--and meanwhile Miss Piggy is still doing her thing but then before too long Genecist does an about face and starts spitting rapid fire triplets while praising his fans and the scene and his own skills (duh) and God Up Above before easing back into the opening groove. Rinse and repeat.

Compelling enough stuff to check out both artists. Turns out that Cee Gee, aka Cee Gee Incorporated, stays true to the latter moniker by releasing a steady stream of beat tapes, solo work and collaborations. This is backed up by his most recent Facebook post at the time of writing (yes I’m a social media stalker what of it?) that boasts “14 Beats In 4 Hours!!!” so here is a man with a serious work ethic who also knows how to create some undeniably ‘90s-style beats alongside the overall stark, slightly off-kilter feel that if you're into a certain Mr. Jay Dee you may be into this too. A few years back Cee Gee left computer-based beatmaking behind and acquired an Akai MPC so no wonder at the ‘90s vibe. For more of his flavor you can look up his collab with another Buffalonian, graphic artist and comic book creator Kevin Delgado aka Frigid Giant, together known as Green Giant.

Genecist likewise appears to be a busy guy lately. Known locally on the scene as a singer-rapper in 4 B-LO, a group specializing in sexytime R&B music, his solo work culminated in 2017’s <Genecist Project> collecting his output up to that point. After nearly retiring from the music-making game Genecist has come back strong with three new EP’s released this year and a fourth in the works (four EPs in one years sounds awfully familiar). The most recent two EPs, both released in October, are tag-team DJ & Producer collaborations: 20:20 with Roobxcube and Proverbz and Video Gamez with Cee Gee.

Before closing I’ve gotta mention at least one more track on the latter EP, the one directly before “I Got You” that's called “Sega Genecist.” No doubt you get the pun but the duo take it next level, building the track over the chirpy game-intro music to the old school arcade classic Galaga. One could easily see this sample fitting perfectly into a chiptune song, but here Cee Gee and Genecist take the goofy-sounding tune (for which I have a great affection to be fair) and alchemize it with a heavy beat and with fleet rapping and even some nice vocal harmonies, all the while weaving in references to Tekken, Street Fighter, and Dragon Ball in the lyrics, and damn if it doesn't make you wanna grab your joystick. It’s pretty mind-expanding stuff and I can’t help but notice that the two tracks discussed here and the one before it (“Follow the Leader” though not an Eric B. and Rakim cover) all clock in at precisely 4:20 in duration. Coincidence? You be the judge. (Jason Lee)