19 July, 2005@12:00 am
A couple of years back, when the two were just making a name for themselves, Atmosphere’s Slug and Living Legends’ Murs came together to form the group Felt, paying tribute to actress Christina Ricci, with their collaborative debut EP. Back by popular demand, the duo returns with Felt 2: A Tribute To Lisa Bonet, this time with Atmosphere producer Ant along for the ride.
With both artists in the prime of their respective careers, Felt 2 is an incredibly solid follow-up from start to finish. The two emcees find common ground in two recurring themes that play throughout the album – women and touring. Finding refuge only on the floors of female fans, Felt 2 documents life on the road and in the beds of many. “Dirty Girl” finds the two fantasizing about untouchable, filthy female employees of a garage and a burger stand, rehiring a sample last used on Terror Squad’s last LP (with much better results). “Life Vegas” is an excellent ode to the city that never sleeps, rich with references to the town that the locals will especially appreciate (despite having one of the album’s only questionable beats). “Breaker Down Like A Shotgun” is a humorous sex-rap where the duo describe the dirty details of hoe-hoppin’, as Slug lets loose with big-dick braggadocio: “this kid’ll make you feel as fit as a fiddle and treat every inch of your body as an invisible nipple”. But for all the down and dirty antics, “Woman Tonight” is a more honest representation of lonely life on tour, as the two recount tales of unsatisfactory one-night stands. The priceless pair of phone call skits “Lisa” and “Bonet” show Murs and Slug’s different philosophies on how to talk a woman into bed.
But it’s not all rants about women or life on the road. In fact, some of the album’s best selections are more straight-forward selections, that shine the spotlight equally on producer Ant, who delivers some of his best production to date on this LP. Taking a classic approach that in today’s rap world is atypical, fat, sampled loops aplenty are in abundance, best evidenced on tracks like “Ya Mans And Them”, “Morris Day”, and “Marvin Gaye”, each working a perfect soundtracks for the emcee’s lyrical exercises. The trio takes it even further back – paying homage to Big Daddy Kane on “Employees Of The Year” and both The Beastie Boys and Ice-T on the instant classic, “Early Morning Tony”.
There isn’t much to find fault in Felt 2. While the cryptic “I Shot A Warhol” is the only track that really delves into the artsy realm, the straightforwardness of the rest of the LP keeps it grounded and accessible to the average hip-hop fan, never attempting to go over their heads. Everyone involved is in prime form here, and the end result is rock solid.
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