Illinois native David Cohn, a.k.a. multifaceted rapper Serengeti, experienced two distinctly different childhoods growing up. Half of his time was spent in Chicago’s then all-black South Side with his mother — a secretary, atheist, and devout communist. The other half was clocked in the then all-white suburbs of Olympic Fields with his father — a stressed, middle-class business-owner. Though Serengeti is the great nephew of Sonny Cohn, Count Basie’s trumpeter of thirty years, music wasn’t passed down freely in the family. Instead, young David kept his musical obsessions in his head, and by the time he was ready to loose them, his skull had accumulated several album’s worth of left- field hip-hop detritus. Geti has since released fourteen albums in ten years. He made his first two nearly by accident, on the way to completing his so-called “debut,” Gasoline Rainbows. That triptych created a hefty rumble in the underground, showcasing stylish, heady raps intertwined with thick threads of soul, pop, rock and psychedelia. With 2006’s Dennehy — a character-based concept album loaded with Chi-town signposts and sports references — Geti established himself as the missing link between Kool Keith, Common Sense and Bill Swerski’s Superfans. Since, he’s been following a stream of consciousness through the darker corners of society and his psyche over an increasingly adventurous musical trajectory.
Saal, Serengeti's first record for the Savannah label Graveface, upon first listen leans toward the dark and lonely. But that's only on the surface. If you listen and study the mood, vibe and lyrics of Saal, you'll find some of Geti's most impressive work to date.
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