CUNABEAR “Ursine Valor” (Beartooth Collective)

Hey, I’ve had my eye on Beartooth Collective for a while – they seem to like what I have to say, and I seem to like what they like to promote, so … we’re quite compatible. (Whatup Beartooth – I see you.)

Cunabear is somewhat of a flagship act, as Matty Dass is both the Bear itself and the proprietor of the ’Tooth, all of which operate out of Savannah, Georgia, one of my favorite places on earth (and you should take that designation very seriously, because I shit on Georgia quite a bit overall). I pop up there every once in a while from my homebase, and it’s not JUST to hit up the Graveface shop. Although that’s a lot of it.

Cunabear is a hip hop savant, and “Ursine Valor” is just one of a massive amount of releases on his Bandcamp page, so, uh, check that out for a while if you want, because you’ll find yourself spending quite a bit of your afternoon around there. Utilizing the laid-back boom-bap production style of De La Soul and Digable Planets, Dass recalls the motormouthed reference-traps of Aesop Rock with his flow, not least of which because of his deep timbre.

Surely not untouched by the artistic fertility of the Savannah College of Art and Design, a huge presence in the city, Cunabear can spread out, experiment, try on whatever he feels like, whatever comes to mind, as he drifts through his imagination like he’s coming upon warp zone hub after warp zone hub. Never content with settling on a singular style, Dass is a chameleonic presence, disappearing into multiple production styles before emerging with a death grip on each one. “Ursine Valor” is just the tip of the iceberg, kids – get up in that discography and dig in.