In these transitory times, when even the most faithful fans fear for the state of hip hop, many more are left to wonder; when will >the next big thing= be someone they respect, and when will someone they respect be the next big thing? Now - on what seems to be a perfectly timed cue - emerging from the loved and feared seven-man underground squad the mighty Athletic Mic League, an electrifying power forward of an MC who goes by the name of Buff1, is prepared for the challenge.
Ten years after Athletic Mic League (AML) came together as teenagers, the men that fill out its roster have had a full decade of perfecting lyrical skills and writing, working out the most satisfying stage performances and opening for the artists considered among the real hip hop elite such as the Boot Camp Click, Little Brother, Slum Village, Jurassic 5, Dead Prez, Talib Kweli, Mos Def and Ghostface Killah to name a few, while capturing the attention and respect of the large, often cynical audiences. With the underground infamy of their own Lab Technicians produced, critically acclaimed 2002 release Sweats and Kicks, and the mutually adored national release of Jungle Gym Jungle (2004, Barak Records), the remaining six MCs approached Buff with a change of plans: it was time to bring him to the forefront as a solo artist.
With AML supporting him and the Lab Techs still at the helm, Buff has come with a stage show that impresses even those who had perhaps lost faith. His presence and flow draw the unaware out of their seats and put the skeptics hands in the air. His unmatched lyrical talent is highlighted by the humor that doesn=t come naturally to most and the simple philosophy of those deeper thoughts that everyone can relate to, but none seem able to verbalize with his ease. The limited copies of his 2005, The One and Only Mixtape sold out as quickly as word spread throughout metro Detroit and beyond. With that true Lab Technicians sound, it leaves one thinking in the oxymoronic phrases that likewise define his stage show:
And if some think Intelligent Hip Hop is an oxymoron as wellY well then so too is Buff1.