Back in 2005, Detroit’s burgeoning rap scene produced another promising rapper/producer, Hush. While his moniker was a crafty antonym, contrasting the content of his rhymes, his talent was anything but subtle or soft-spoken, and aided by the appearance of Eminem, Talib Kweli, and D-12 – all of whom are also featured on this 2005 debut album.
Prior to 2005, this Detroit mean-street stalwart collected local accolades, including hosting the Detroit Music Awards, during which he received an Outstanding Hip Hop MC award for his gritty poetic rhyming reminiscent of his predecessors. In the mid-nineties, as a fellow Motor City rapper trying to break through, he befriended Eminem and caught the attention of Geffen label heads who then offered him a record deal. With guest appearances from Eminem and Talib Kweli on his debut album, Hush was gearing up to be the next generation of Motor City gangster rap introduced and refined by the notorious drive-by devil’s night anthems of Eminem and D-12.
His sound recalls Eminem’s dramatics and sparkles and is a fresh version of the exhausted rap-rock genre, especially when combined with the calamity-inducing strings that also took Eminem’s best moments to Grammy-winning status. Hush’s raps are similar to the universal on-the-grind anthems as he pulls from real life situations, having grown up the son of a homicide detective. And like his mentor Eminem, on “Superstar,” Hush shows the ability to laugh at (and attack) the lifestyle he’s immersed in – an existence he can’t deny, or live with, or live without,and one he knows he must play if he is to survive it.
It’s also no surprise that Hush’s music was featured on the reality boxing series The Contender, feature film XXX: State of the Union and a pre-game teaser for the Detroit Pistons, as almost every song pumps you up like a Rocky training sequence, but with Bulletproof, Hush is clearly telling his own version of Rocky meets rap and rewriting the story immortalized in 8-mile.
Yes, at times the rock-based anthems do go over the top, but Hush is certainly a rapper who can lay it down and craft 16 bars and top it off with verses that induce genuinely unsettling chuckles, weeps, and cringes, making it hard to pigeon-hole him in the rap-rock genre.
During “Let it Breathe,” Hush raps over Middle Eastern melodies and beats melded with rock rhythms, it’s one of the best tracks as he drops slick verses, exhibiting a swift cadence that’s elevated and enhanced with an appearance by Talib Kweli. On “Put Em Down (Shake the Ground),” and “Real TV” Hush fires off rounds loaded with witty pop culture movie and reality show references and gladly doesn’t overdose on the gangster bravado. He speaks his mind, plainly telling it like it is.
Bulletproof was released in 2005 and according to the Geffen website, at the moment, the next steps of Hush’s career are unclear, so for the moment the beats and rhymes on Bulletproof will have to suffice for all you Hush fans out there.