This isn’t the first time that either Cage or Tame One were paired up with another emcee to trade mics with (Smut Peddlers, Nighthawks, Artifacts), but surprisingly, this could actually be the most interesting of their respective collaborations yet. Paired together as The Leak Bros, Cage and Tame deliver Waterworld, a fourteen-track opus all about the incredibly bad idea of smoking blunts or cigarettes dipped in embalming fluid. While this idea might sound boring or redundant on paper, they’ve astonishingly pulled it off, as Tame puts it, with “whole songs dedicated to medicated faded intoxicated sedated goings on” (damn!).
Waterworld is (not surprisingly) a concept album, about a “drug related theme park”, which upon first listen immediately conjures up old feelings of Pharcyde’s own bizarre ride, or Cypress Hill’s then bold introduction of weed to the game (yes, there was a time when rappers didn’t smoke weed). However Waterworld is an entirely different record than either of those West Coast classics. While it does take a cue from Muggs with the inclusion of heavy 60′s psyche rock samples, interestingly enough, the team of nine producers behind this album have created an Illmatic-esque unified sound together, whether they realized it or not. Virtually everyone came though with some of their best production yet, whether it be J-Zone’s nutzoid “G.O.D.”, RJD2′s cinematic “Gimmiesumdeath”, Mighty Mi’s “Dead”, or hot producer on the rise, Camu Tao, who delivers three solid beats, most notably “Delirium”. For an album made up of so many different producers, every track somehow sticks to the script, animating Cage and Tame’s nice dreams.
But not only are we blessed with incredibly solid production here, but both Tame and Cage have stepped up their game lyrically on this record. In the most shocking revelation yet, Tame proves to be at the top of his game on this album, with vocabulary gymnastics and subtle punch rhymes that swim miles past those lyrics heard just a year ago on When Rappers Attack. “I take over like Jay Hova to hijack your mental plane just for a layover / then play the cut like baking soda / spazmatic / another hip-hop addict with habits / on National Geographic’s front cover fuckin’ a fat bitch.” That’s just one of the Special Ed-meets-Eminem, rhythmic rhymes-within-rhymes that Tame spits on this record – and it’s filled with them. Meanwhile, Cage is bugged out as usual, however the wet cigarettes bring out a whole new delivery for Kennylz, as found on “G.O.D.”, where he spits with an incredible new cadence not heard from the emcee before.
But the nice thing about Waterworld is that you don’t have to wet your beak with leak to experience the type of shit these brothers are on. Each song is a different trip, and it gets more bugged out as the album progresses. “See Thru”, the album’s fourth track is about when the high kicks in, with a psychedelic, better-than-blunted Mondee produced head nodder. Things get even iller on “Dead”, the album’s eighth track, a haunting ode to late night funeral home raids for embalming fluid. And if that didn’t drive the point home, Tame’s disturbing cover of “La-Di-Da-Di” (“Druggie Fresh”) will, which surprisingly does as Tame only borrows the cadence of the song, spitting it over bells of insanity. The album closes out with each “Delerium”, “Stargate”, and “Submerged”, each of which take the trip to new heights.
You start to realize at this point that these guys are fucking gone – two high as hell rock stars – like rap’s own Jerry Garcia and Jimmy Hendrix. While the complaints about this record will include “the subject matter never changes”, or “it’s weird”, in essence, that’s what makes it so dope and incredibly original. While it doesn’t count as a solo record for either artist, it’s an experiment (literally), and somehow these two manage to keep it interesting, finding several new ways to rhyme about hallucinations and the drugs that cause them. What’s most impressive however is just how consistent this album is – it’s a mark of true talent when two emcees can craft fourteen tracks around the same subject matter, and still keep it interesting. Say no to drugs; buy this dope instead.
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