Hip-hop is time travel. A kaleidoscopic-collage adventure for the ear and the mind via the craft of cutting up, arranging, and layering audio and words. Each slice is a fully-loaded time-capsule of its respective milieu, a series of sonic snapshots capturing the cultural culminations of all that preceded these moments in music. Histories become simultaneous, and new histories emerge by way of juxtaposition and collision. It is the invention of the future, and future (as we know it) is always our next now. And, sometimes, hip-hop knows exactly what it is doing. The multi-volume Land of a Thousand Rappers knows.

Seven being a magic number, it took that many years to build this particular time-machine. Michael KaufmannWayne FeldmanEro Gray, and friends channel a cast of characters, projected archetypes, to transmit tales, myths, jokes, rants, lists, codes, spells, and formulas that both pull and propel the listener through something that is much more than a narrative to a fantastic sci-fi soundscape; it is a means to understanding who we are, have been, and can be.

A genuine epic, as well as an epic undertaking (five albums and an accompanying novella/prose-poem by Michael Kaufmann entitled Zero Seed)Land of a Thousand Rappers draws upon and synthesizes from every age of jazz: early New Orleans/Chicago, boogie-woogie, stride, on through swing, bop, hard bop, free, even into lounge and fusion, with no end of pop elements from around the world, psych, blues, soul, metal, kraut-rock, post-punk, nodding to and evoking far-thinking and far-feeling musical figures such as Harry Partch, Sun RaLee “Scratch” PerryMoondogSun City GirlsThe Residents, and Ennio Morricone, as well as visionary writers such as Philip K. Dick, William BlakeRay BradburyThomas Pynchon, and William S. Burroughs.

Fans of Mike LaddDeltronMadlibPrince Paul, “FanDam” era EL-PMF DoomDr. Oktagon, and even farther outside/inside artists such as Sensational and Subtitle, will be thrilled and rewarded by the grand, labyrinthine scope and generosity of this unique contribution to the future history of hip-hop.

The time is always now. This is for everyone. This is for you.