The two members of Poetically Contagious, J-1,2 and Captain, came together for the first time in February, 2010. These two performers from the Binghamton, New York area quickly established a reputation at local universities before branching out into major metropolitan centers like New York City and garnering considerable positive attention in contests and from major entertainment publications like MAMI Magazine. Their music began appearing on the club scene and soon drew notice from directors interested in collaborating with the duo in crafting a first class music video for promotional purposes. “Time To Get That Cash”, the song in question, was a stirring success for Poetically Contagious and solidified their standing as one of the most promising rap/hip hop acts working today. The first single, “Toss Him Aside”, from their forthcoming album capitalizes on that promise and raises the bar considerably.
“Toss Him Aside” opens with some light acoustic guitar that’s soon coupled with a slinky beat and fat, but never omnipresent, bass. Poetically Contagious take their time setting listeners up for the vocal and, when it comes in, the song feels quite complete. Unlike some bands or performers, the backing track for Poetically Contagious isn’t some empty vehicle intended to carry the vocal without having anything of its own to say. Instead, the surprisingly light-footed density of this track embodies the attitude of the vocalist and the lyrics alike. It never loses its way and stays focused throughout. There’s no fat on this track at all – everything serves a purpose and their musical/artistic choices are unerring throughout the song. The production, likewise, frames everything here with an across the board ear bent towards balance. Poetically Contagious never allows one musical element to overwhelm the others and keeps the song percolating nicely from the beginning to the end. On a negative note the album cover is extremely amateurish in appearance.
The lyrical content doesn’t open up new areas in hip hop, but their approach never fails to hold the listener’s attention and doesn’t feel stale. The lyric has a first person point of view and conjures up a number of interesting lines urging the song’s subject, a woman treated shabbily by her boyfriend, to end the poor treatment and ditch the offending man. There’s a lot of surprisingly sharp imagery in the lyrics, but it’s never too wordy. Instead, the words are perfectly tailored to the backing music and have its own percussive value that never wavers throughout the song’s four minute running time. Poetically Contagious are set to release an album in 2017 and this first single from that forthcoming offering sets a high standard that subsequent tracks will be hard pressed to match. Listening to the confidence and style present in this song, however, will reassure many that the remainder of the album will come up to the same level as this fantastic song and elevate Poetically Contagious to an even greater place of respect in the hip hop world.
by Lydia Hillenburg