"Nothing Dies Forever" By Hybrid The Rapper (Frankfort, KY)/Hip Hop/Released Jan 2016
Since it’s genesis hip hop music has often been about storytelling. Lyricists detail their background, their trials and tribulations and give voice to people who grew up like them. Voice to people who can identify with their struggles and ambitions. Despite beginning in the urban sprawl of New York City, hip hop’s popularity has inspired people from many walks of life from many different locations and backgrounds. While southern hip hop is usually linked to Atlanta, GA artists from other parts of the south have been picking up the mic to tell their stories as well.
Born in 1979, Chris Ballinger, aka Hybrid the Rapper, has been recording and performing music for nearly two decades. A long independent career has seen the Frankfort, KY artist rise to be one of central Kentucky’s most notable musicians of any genre. Constantly busy and prolific, Hybrid has created, collaborated, and/or been featured on nearly 30 different albums, been a member of different bands and hip hop groups, formed his own record label, and win two Lexington Music Awards for best hip hop artist.
“Nothing Dies Forever” is Hybrid’s most recent solo release and follows his March 2015 album “Starseed”. The album’s production is often dark and gritty in tone and Hybrid’s aggressive, fast paced lyrical delivery makes the record’s overall sound heavily reminiscent of 90s era east coast hip hop. Despite the technical rapping style Hybrid isn’t afraid to throw in a good hook in most of his songs and take advantage of his surprisingly soulful singing ability.
Lyrically the rapper keeps things down to Earth. Instead of songs about hip hop fantasy and excess Hybrid details his working class life and upbringing. Relatable songs about working towards your dreams, relationships, and the love of music make the Frankfort artist much more authentic than many rappers of today. He writes about what he knows and it shows in his art.
“Dreams” is a standout track on the album featuring a hook from Tone Jones mixed with Hybrid’s own sung vocals and could easily be a radio hit.”Black Roses” details a complicated romantic relationship set to a dark ambient production. “The Industry Diss” makes interesting use of a sample from Deftones’ “Change” set to aggressive, self promotional lyrics. “Memorabilia” is an introspective track that dips into Hybrid’s past musical history with mellow sounding guitar centered in the production.
“Nothing Dies Forever” is a great display of talent from a well seasoned artist. A style that brings the listener back to the golden age of hip hop while being told from the unique perspective of a rural, blue collar man with a dream to be the best rapper around. With lyrics that anybody who’s had to work for what they want can identify with, Hybrid the Rapper isn’t afraid to let people know his humanity. And any fan of hip hop should be able to respect the hustle of the man’s grind and the talent of Hybrid’s work.