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Wara from the NBHD (neighborhood) releases the first single "Thieves Theme" off of his upcoming The lll Street Blues LP, which drops 2.13.13. Produced by Left Hand Mitch, "Thieves Theme" embodies Wara's motivation to revive the golden era of rap through his own stories; an end that he tagged as central to his work when I interviewed him last October. Mitch's beat lurks with horns and snares that vary in speed for an overpoweringly dark setting. The depth of this work emerges through lowlights from horns and highlights in his piano chime (reminiscent of the Mob-themed tracks of the late 90s NYC scene). Mitch's ability to suspend certain instruments at key moments manage the atmosphere for Wara's words; the young emcee can then force partially-acapella riffs for us to focus on. Wara takes these opportunities to make the references he needs in order to remind us of the virility of the 90s. He winks at listeners by echoing Jay-Z's "didn't really appreciate it / till the second one came out" from "Hard Knock Life" (even his chorus is a look to the past). Being able to adopt the archetypal atmosphere of rap is important to Wara, since he objects to many of the forms that rap has taken on recently. The Atlanta resident focuses his lyrics on his son's development, the street lessons he got from his brother, and catchin a jux. He isn't mimicking a style, though. He isn't adopting a persona. He isn't trying to build a portfolio based on just knowing about golden-era rap. Wara's ability to revive an older time comes from his genuine motivation as a fan who has something to say. He's attracted to the roots of rap (acoustically and culturally), and he uses those roots to expose his reality in his artistic slant. His split as a modern lyricist with a regard for the past make him an offbeat creator. He forms a new way to look at an older time because he can say what a young man thinks through a weathered man's art. His work is highly personal due to his ability to speak to fans as a fan himself, about his individual life's experiences. Be on the lookout for The lll Street Blues LP, which I guarantee will have more of the same hard-hitting reminders of a different time in rap. LISTEN :