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THE MOVEMENT (2004)
The Movement - Click to view! Hailing from the super crew LA Symphony, Sharlok often gets shoved to the side and labeled as either simply the hook writer or most recently, the "low end" of LA Symphony. Neither give the man the credit he deserves and are more in the vein of insults rather than compliments. Sharlok makes more than just hip hop; he makes art. It is very emotional and poetic, even abstract at times, but always brilliant. Art is meant to be experienced, and this is no exception. Prepare yourself for The Movement, Sharlok's sophomore release and his major label debut.

If this album had to be labeled, I think it should be "Grown-Folk Hip-Hop." This is music for grown folks, grown in a way that only comes from experiencing life and through the survival of tragedy. Seasoned veterans of life will be the ones who find the comfort in the hidden nuggets of this disc. They will be the ones who relate to Sharlok when he tells them in "Rock On,"
"With hammer and chisel shape a song for the fallen / The tried and true who gave it all for there calling / From musician to marksmen here's a salute."

From the moment that you hear the first words of Sharlok, you feel connected, like chums from back in the day who haven't spoken in a while but still work toward the same goal and have the same purpose in life. He speaks to you as if he knows the road you have traveled and knows of the pain you have endured.

"Dead Beat Dad" uses powerful words to open a window into a life that many women are imprisoned in; words that should challenge those who are not in this position to help those who are.
"Break up to make up Lancôme covers your face up / to camouflage the places that his fist struck / you've been stuck between a fist and a wall / with two kid's screaming in the hall."
As a true piece of art does, The Movement will not allow you to walk away the same. You will be changed.

Loyal to his artistic nature Sharlok provides a musical backdrop that is every bit as creative as his words. With eleven of the fourteen songs produced by Mr. J of the Procussions, we are treated to a focused sound. Great Jason (a.k.a. J.Beits) emerges from hiding to deliver two very well crafted beats ("California Lyricists" and "Limelight.") Fellow LA Sympher Flynn ("Sunny Days") and Stro ("Freedom") both provides a single track each. The sound of this record is best described as organic and raw. It is never overbearing and always allows its partner, the spoken words, to be clearly heard. While some songs could be categorized as experimental ("Change" borders on being annoying with its Nintendo sounding phaser playing constantly) none of the songs will ever be accused of being boring and mundane.

Guests are kept to an absolute minimum, a noteworthy achievement for a LA Symphony solo album. Unlike his fellow crew mates who seem content releasing what seem to be extensions of past group efforts, Sharlok simply does not subscribe to this practice. Other than Flynn on production, there is not a single member of the current roster on this disc, which immediately places this record leaps and bounds ahead of past LA Symphony solo releases. On the emcee side, Sharlok invites his Haileyloo Fishermen brethren, J.Beits and Terry McFly to stop by and spit a few verses. It is always a pleasure to hear these fine gentlemen on a track and this would be no exception to their standing track record. The Lightheaed boys also put forth a wonderful appearance that makes for a perfect close to the album.

Honestly, this is the best thing to come from the hip-hop genre this year. Sharlok does not disappoint. If I could give it some stars I would, like at least 8 of them. Pick it up and enjoy this perfect winter hip-hop.
- Josh Weekly
February 2005
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