CD Review: C.P.R. – Compression (Windsor Hip Hop)

C.P.R.Windsor hip hop artist C.P.R. has released a new 16-track album, out today, called Compression. The disc is loaded with sick beats and tons of social commentary in a well-balanced collection of modern rhymes and infectious grooves.

The local rapper is part of the popular local group Rebellious Youth of Theory (R.Y.O.T.), but fans need not worry – the band members (Blaze Jay, LaMatic, J.Hayze, Fraze Woodz, Zee Jay and dj braeking) are all part of this solo release, as well as a few special guests like ETE (EchoE The Element), Krooks, D-iLL, Cash Dat Kush, Phokus, JBHookz, Conr, Kayyce Closed (half of Windsor/Detroit duo Academy), local soul crooner Josh Johnson and teen singer Krisalyn Bell from all-girl group Girl Pow-R.

Basically, the album is a who’s who of the Windsor hip hop scene united together with a few select vocalist included in the mix. It’s a collection of various styles, but remains focused throughout.

CPR-Krisalyn
C.P.R. and Krisalyn Bell in the Getting Back Up music video.

The big standout track is the infectious single/video Getting Back Up which features the only female vocal on the album from 13-year old Krisalyn Bell. The combination of C.P.R.’s raps and Bell’s young voice make a powerful anthem about continuing to reach your goals after being constantly knocked down – it’s a message of hope, dreams and ambitions – which, give or take some of the other messages on the album, is really what Compression seems to emanate. It’s an album that really showcases the dreams and plentiful abilities of the Windsor hip hop scene. If there’s one track that deserves some attention, Getting Back Up is it – not only for C.P.R. and the diversity of his performances, but for Bell who adds a feminine youthful flair that you just don’t hear in the hip hop world. It’s a showpiece that Windsor should be proud of. Hats off to Ricky Mac for the vibrant production and Squaaad Movements for the music video.

Another shout out should also go to the incredible list of producers used to make the album – DJ Hayze, BCB, JR The Beat Dealer, dj braeking, 6AM, dizaplyn. The majority of the production was done by DJ Hayze who took part in about half of the songs. Of the DJ Hayze productions, Sick Of Being Nice is a great song with a classic late 80s vibe – the beat reminds me of a Run DMC jam.

Other notable tracks include the slick What I Can Be with Zee Jay and D iLL, the popish I’ll Be On My Way with J Hayze and Blaze Jay, the deep sounding Cash Flow with Cash Dat Kush and Phokus, I Want It All with JBHookz and LaMatic which sounds like a Jay-Z hook, and Breaking Out which allows Josh Johnson’s super soulful voice a few moments to shine.

The cover of the album features C.P.R. getting resuscitated on stage at Windsor’s Rockstar Music Hall and he also gives a shout out to the venue in the title track.

It’s kind of fitting that a collection like this comes out at Christmas because there’s no better gift idea for the holidays than a stunning album of local artists working together for a greater cause – the cause in this case is to improve and unite Windsor’s incredible hip hop movement.

For more on R.Y.O.T., visit the group’s Facebook page.