MindspillWhen I blog about music, I prefer to discuss artists who are off the mainstream radar. Basically I pretty much hate most mainstream music as I see it as an insult & diss to my mentality. With this said, I would like to put you up on “Panacea,” a pair of hip-hop artists who are off the mainstream music radar.

Panacea (Jason Moore aKa “Raw Poetic” & Kyle Murdock aKa “K-Murdock”) hails from DC & their hot newest album is titled “The Scenic Route.”

I heard about the release last month (Sept 07) on Giant Step and decided to check them out. Usually I don’t check out hip-hop or rap releases, so I’m happy that I did not follow my normal rule because I found a true hip-hop gem.

After I popped on the Giant Step jukebox & listened to “Flashback To Stardom” (ft Raheem DeVaughn) I was like hell yeah, then I listened to “Pops Said” & was like I am Panacea’s newest biggest fan.

A few minutes later, I downloaded a few cuts from iTunes & put them on heavy rotation (along with Common & Jill Scott). After a week or so, I decided that I actually wanted the entire CD, so I called up my girl Zana @ Spectacles & asked her to order it for me. 3 days later, it was in my hand & it was all good.

You may be asking why I ordered the CD when I could have just downloaded it off iTunes. Well, I ordered the CD because I really want to support these artists & have something tangible to show them support. Also, I believe in supporting quality Black businesses, especially friends whenever possible!

Anyway, “The Scenic Route” is a true hip-hop album full of positive (but not corny) messages, melodic, trippy & rock filled beats. “The Scenic Route” reminds me of underground shit from back in the day, when you could just chill & bounce your head without felling angry or like you needed to fuck a “hoe” or “bitch” after a song went off.

My standout favorites are:

If you are a true hip-hop fan, then you need to add this album to your collection soon.
From their Myspace Page:

Their sound has been described as “A Tribe Called Quest meets Final Fantasy”, and some listeners have even made comparisons to The Roots and Outkast. But forget a classification, this is just exceptionally good, unique, and timeless music. Panacea is based out of the Washington DC area where producer K-Murdock, a Maryland native, has provided his fantasy hip-hop soundscapes for soul singers such as Raheem DeVaughn and W. Ellington Felton. Emcee Raw Poetic, a long time resident of Northern Virginia who originally hails from Philadelphia, has been rhyming since the age of 14.

His natural, almost conversational flow and signature storytelling lyrics fit perfectly with K-Murdock’s soulful and sometimes spacey compositions. Their obvious chemistry is incredibly rare, and favors such accomplished duos as Gangstarr and Pete Rock & CL Smooth. Whether they’re in the studio composing music at a prolific rate comparable to legendary jazz pianist Bob James in the 70s, or on stage performing live backed by Virginia-based progressive hip-hop band RPM (, Panacea has all musical bases covered!
Online Reviews:

~ “This is a feel good album – period. That’s about the easiest way I can describe Panacea’s “The Scenic Route.” Such a feel good album, in fact, that I threw it in my headphones this morning and decided to take “the scenic route” to work….” (Hip-Hop Linguistics)

~ “If Rawkus is attempting to recapture the spirit of its late-’90s heyday (before a gruesome implosion that expedited hip-hop’s Diddy-fication), it’s got a promising find in D.C.-based Panacea. Emcee Raw Poetic and producer K-Murdock aren’t exactly Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek, but Panacea imbue their sophomore album, The Scenic Route, with an infectious blend of street-corner philosophizing and Native Tongues-inspired charm….” (Tiny Mix Tapes)

~ “…MC Raw Poetic and producer K-Murdock proved what they are capable of in their first release, Ink Is My Drink, delivering a truly unique and cutting edge freshman release. With The Scenic Route, they are breaking the mold. Don’t expect a mere new-and-improved version of Ink Is My Drink this time around. K-Murdock delves into new sonic soundscapes, tapping into influences from early 70’s progressive rock and beyond, while bringing the listener on a rollercoaster ride of tempos, BPMs and overall composition.” (Fresh Press Media)

I hope that Panacea blows up but keeps their true hip-hop flow.