Friday 25 June 2021

Album Review: The Rudy Tape by Shaw Calhoune


The Rudy Tape


Shaw Calhoune

Shaw Calhoune is a rapper from Silver Spring, Maryland USA and this latest release, The Rudy Tape, is the follow-up to 2019’s The Outlook.

The Rudy Tape see’s Shaw Calhoune draw his inspiration from the late great Rudy Ray Moore. A comedian, singer, actor and producer, Rudy Ray Moore is best remembered for the character, Dolomite, a moniker he took on after hearing street stories from a wino called Rico in 1970 while working at the Dolphin’s of Hollywood record store in Los Angeles. Moore would go on to take Dolomite, among other personas, to the stage and screen. His wise cracking and profanity filled rhyming poetry would go on to earn him the title of Godfather of Rap and see him as the inspiration for many Hip-Hop artists including Snoop Dogg, he would also go on to appear on a number of albums from Hip-Hop artists such as Big Daddy Kane, 2 Live Crew and Busta Rhymes. Moore passed away in 2008 and his biopic was brought to the screen in 2019’s Dolomite is my Name, starring Eddie Murphy as Moore.

With all that in mind, this promises to be some ride…

The Intro has a deep funky vibe which straight up sets the seen for what’s to come and gives you a taste of Calhoune’s rap style, the inspiration and experiences he draws on. Calhoune now drops bars that are all about that gritty street story vibe. You really get the feel of Rudy Moore as the inspiration here as similes abound. All this over a deep pounding, guitar driven funk where Calhoune ain’t playing here, and here is Hip-Hop. Next up is a more laid-back funk vibe with big horns. Goldie brings us the back story of Shaw Calhoune. This is how he got to where he is, the work, the drive, and the desire.

Piano, Guitar, and a vocal sample keep us on that laid-back vibe. There are times in life when it’s not about what you say but, what you do says it all and when Actions Speak Louder Than Words, sometimes that’s all that’s needed. A piano heavy vibe with sparse drums has Calhoune taking us to those crazy where the focus is the Henny Bottles, good women, and good times. Drums and organ notes bring a chilled-out vibe full of samples from Rudy Ray Moore on this short Interlude to keep us in the mood.

The upbeat laid-back vibe of Drums, flute and guitar provides a perfect back drop as Calhoune takes us on a trip round the city, hitting up all his spots, making his rounds, cos on Shaw Cito (My Rounds) it’s all about making that green. Horns, drums and sax keep us on that 70’s street vibe. Here Calhoune details the story of coming from nothing to something and how that means a Changing Of The Guard as the older generation step aside. The Outro is a chilled funk vibe with drums, guitar, vocals, and sax. Right now, this is where you are, it’s done, and story is told. The only thing left is just to be out…


You really feel the inspiration behind The Rudy Tape as Moore himself used jazz/RnB musicians as baking for his comedy routines and Shaw Calhoune has emulated that here in bringing a funk fuelled, boom bap Hip-Hop vibe as the soundtrack to his slick street stories. Those stories are based around pimps, players, hustlers and straight up street life, just as Moore based his own work. Calhoune delivers his wordplay in a slick style and switch up the pace as and when needed. He creates his own persona that fits perfectly with mirroring the inspiration of Moore. There is this sense that Calhoune is seeking to deliver the kind of narrative that Moore himself might have done had he lived in the now, those mean streets of the modern America.

The production comes from Four Limbs, Ant of Honors Society, Bishop of Black Hand Music Group, and Mista Encore, is solid and mixes that modern Boom bap Hip-Hop vibe with the 70’s Jazz Funk. The added depth of those samples from Moore’s recordings and movies just creates the perfect musical canvas for someone like Shaw Calhoune to use in painting this audible picture and homage to the late great Rudy Ray Moore.

If anything, I wanted this to be far longer. You could fit The Rudy Tape on one side of a C60 cassette and still have room for more with its running time of just under seventeen minutes. The quality of the production and the slickness of Calhoune’s lyricism really deserves to fill that entire C60 cassette (apologies to the younger generation who might not be familiar with cassette tapes. It did feel like the best analogy here…).

I would say this is definitely one that you wanna check out whether you’re a fan of Rudy Ray Moore or just have a love of good Hip-Hop.

The Rudy Tape is available now on Big Eleanor Records and big thanks to Danny NoNo for sending this over.

On that note,

I’m outta here,



Check the Album on Bandcamp Here:



Changing The Guard

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