Track-By-Track Review for Shaw Calhoune – Carry Out On Shaw (Big Eleanor Records)

Ville S. Music Reviews

In my honest opinion, Shaw Calhoune stands out as one of the finest underground rappers at the moment. Since 2019, he's been consistently delivering a variety of EPs, each showcasing different facets of his artistry. From darker and brighter shades to beatless and basic boom bap, Shaw has explored it all. With his debut full-length album, ‘Carry Out On Shaw’, he takes a dive into the realm of traditional boom bap and soulful hip-hop vibes. The album pays homage to the classics of hip hop and boom bap, yet Shaw's distinctive flow keeps it relevant, comforting, and laid-back. The beats, curated from seven different producers, mostly exhibit remarkable cohesion and solidity.

Now, let's delve into the tracks individually!

Open For Business -

The album kicks off with a 1.5-minute intro featuring two characters contemplating a food order from a new street vendor. While I'm not a huge fan of such hip-hop skits personally, it pays homage to tradition. The first full track bursts in with a massive bassline, capturing immediate attention. Clocking in at just 1.5 minutes, in line with Shaw's tendency for shorter tracks, "Open For Business" showcases a solid beat and firm flow.

No Voicemail (featuring DJ Skruff) -

Continuing the laidback feel, this track boasts a soulful beat with beautiful looped vocals. The string arrangement harmonizes with blissful synth sounds, while DJ Skruff adds a touch of old-school scratching throughout.


Who’s In Charge Here? - 

This track deviates slightly from the basic and traditional beat, incorporating intentionally off-beat percussion sounds for an interesting twist. Its unique touch could afford it a bit more runtime, standing out nicely.


Two Hours -

Another skit, this time featuring a woman complaining about an order, adds a humorous touch. The beat mimicking the background music of a phone queue elevates the experience.

Food Poisoning -

Featuring a very soulful looped beat with captivating vocals, Shaw once again showcases his talent for creating flowy vocals that defy the ordinary. While his style favors short tracks, a bit more variety in song structures would be a welcomed addition.

Head Chef (featuring JST PRAH) -

The soulful boom bap core persists in this track, accompanied by looped backup vocals, heartfelt guitars, and organic drums. ‘JST PRAH's feature injects the needed change, yet a different section in the song could enhance its dynamics.


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Anonymous Complaint (featuring PINK i) -

With one of the catchiest beats on the album, this track's simple piano loop, funky guitar, and vocals by ‘PINK i’ create an engaging mix. The extended runtime allows listeners to immerse themselves in the infectious groove.

Two More Hours -

The third skit of the album. There seems still to be some problems in the new kitchen…

Smoke Break (featuring Barry Marz) -

Balancing Calhoune and Marz, the track unfolds like a dialogue between the two rappers. The simple loop provides ample room for their talents, resulting in a seamless and engaging exchange.


Walkout (featuring Goldie The Natural, Ty Law, Cynical Minded, DJ Skruff) -

This laidback track exudes warm summer vibes, with a flowy and light beat that invites listeners to close their eyes and savor the musical warmth. Its extended duration, nearing five minutes, sets it apart from the album's shorter tracks.

Hazard To The City (featuring Sandy Mechelle) -

This track introduces a slightly more melancholic and darker beat, with a delightful nod to The Fugees' cover of "Killing Me Softly With His Song." Sandy Mechelle complements the smoky voice, creating a memorable atmosphere. A funny detail is that the album, ‘The Score’, which includes ‘Killing Me Softly…’ has also a skit related to restaurant service.

Temporarily Close -

Closing out the album, this track, while not the strongest, maintains a decent classic hip-hop vibe. A peculiar effect adds a unique touch, leaving us pondering if the guys ever received their order.