Although this is only Family Tree’s second release following Planting Seeds, as any Chicago hip-hop head will tell you, their history goes back several years. First starting off as an alliance between All Natural, Daily Plannet, and Mr. GreenWeedz, the crew eventually expanded to include MC/drummer Iomos Marad and Rita J, the crew’s sole female mc. This is the first album on the All Natural Inc. record label to come from a crew other than All Natural, and if this album is any indication, we have a lot to look forward to.
“Spit It” starts things off right with one of the best tracks on the entire album. The beat provided by Memo of the Molemen is accompanied by vocals from Spotlite, D. Rashad (aka Capital D) and guest mc Prime. Everyone absolutely smashes this track, and Memo comes thru lovely on the production tip. “Motive” features one of the best-produced tracks courtesy of newcomer Madd Crates. The thick beat is accompanied by an infectious violin loop that Capital D and Spotlite flip appropriately. “Simple Words” is the album’s only solo track, handled by Rita J with cuts by Tone B. Nimble. This track proves that heads not only need to look out for Madd Crates on production, but also Rita J as a skilled MC. It’s refreshing to hear a good female MC, and her presence on the album brings the right balance to the Family Tree crew. “Buddy Live” is a live Family Tree performance of the crew doing their own version of the De La Soul classic, which they flip Family Tree style. “I Am” is a hard hitting cut with Mr. Greenweedz and Iomos Marad once again letting the listener know who they are, while His-Panik holds it down nicely on the boards.
All in all, the Family Tree crew has truly created an impressive album from beginning to end with no filler material, zero lackluster beats, and not one weak link. Tree House Rock proves that we have a lot to look forward to from Chicago and the All Natural Inc. label.
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