“As long as you have life, you can put up that fight!”
Back in 2011, Bronx rapper, Cost, was looking for a band to back him for live performances. What he found is what we now, 5 years later, know as the Track Seven Band. Their latest EP, The Try And The Fail, which is ironically seven tracks, is a very deep, personal music journey through Cost’s life, set to rock/rap/pop infused live instrumentation that really takes everything to the next level. From come up to scathing commentary of social injustice, the record is a real winner.
I’ll start with the elephant in the room, Cost, the lead singer/rapper, has a cadence that [sometimes] sounds like Brooklyn legend Jay-Z. It’s not a bad thing, and doesn’t appear to be any imitation; rather, it’s more of a Nas/Your Old Droog type of thing. By that I mean, he less like Jigga the more your bump the record. He isn’t oblivious, though. For example on the song “Doubt Me,” his “You’re now tuned into the most real,” sounds like a subtle nod, if nothing else.
Enough of all that, though. I’ve been playing the EP on repeat for the past few days — it’s refreshing, original, and works on so many levels. First, let me give you the goods. The album is a rollercoaster of emotions, as we take a spin through the mindset of a man who’s seen the lowest lows, and made tough choices and leaps of faith to stand before you today. Cost, as we learn through the EP, lost his mother to cancer, which was extremely rough on him. On the record “Die,” he details both depression and insomnia. He even at one point makes a slight mention of suicidal thoughts. He also opens up about his past, his rough upbringing in Brooklyn, his past-life in the streets, and the hard choices that many marginalized heads at the bottom are faced with. “Go Get It,” which is an uptempo chase your dreams anthem; he makes reference to being “mentored by BK crooks,” and having “packs in his backpack.” These both [among a bevy of other references] let listeners that this music is clearly a concession he made towards a better life.
He’s not in the clear, though, If I’m to take his song “I See You Boy,” at face value. The song, with a slight reggae tinge, details his homicidal plans to get revenge on an acquaintance that double crossed him. This record may add a bit of fictitious element to Cost as a character — if you’d like to see it that way. The ‘never give up, followed my grind to get here’ vibe is carried across other records on the EP like the title track, “Today,” and “The Message [which was my fave track].”
Earlier, I mentioned that the project worked on so many levels. To clarify that point, the record is really (really) hip-hop. Cost is an amazing lyricist, and his bars and delivery are electric. However, the live instrumentation and the [at points] almost radio friendly aura of some of the records seem to suggest lots of crossover appeal. You could easily listen to this whole project without listening to the depth of the content, and just enjoy it for what it is. “I See You Boy” is an excellent example of what I mean.
The album is a breath of fresh air; the band compliments Cost entirely. I thoroughly enjoyed The Try And Fail and highly recommend you getting on board with these guys before they inevitably get where they’re going.