With the sudden popularity of 80′s throwback groups like The Cool Kidz, it has opened doors for the resurrection of classic hip-hop sounds, by people who actually lived through that era. While both Apathy and Ryu (Styles of Beyond, Fort Minor) have had massive success in the underground, they’ve struggled with breaking into the mainstream, both having major label deals go sour via Atlantic and Warner. After the dust settled, the Demigod duo teamed up with producer Scoop Deville, best known for his work with Snoop Dogg & Fort Minor, and also son to Chicano rap legend Kid Frost. Together they form the Get Busy Committee, and with their debut album, Uzi Does It, they reflect on life in L.A. and classic cuts from the 80′s and 90′s.
The end result is a unique style and sound that’s less pandering to the retro audience and instead teeming with indie sensibility. The opening track, “My Little Razorblade” finally utilizes that ridiculous Knife sample from ’05, as Ryu and Ap spit lines of coke over the tracks infectious baseline, original hook in tact. This continues on the synthy “Shoot Me Up”, which knocks with 808 bass and synth as the female vocalist’s sleazy hook animates the guys rhymes. The melodic “I Don’t Care About You” is the most commercial thing we’ve heard yet from these guys, as they sing-rhyme their way out of dead-end relationships, loosely interpolating the Rolling Stones/Soup Dragons “I’m Free”. While the fans of this crew might balk at this potential hit, it’s still a far cry from what pop radio abuses us with day in and day out.
The meat of this album lies in it’s classically styled hip-hop tracks, which pull from a variety of different genres of vintage rap music. “Chillin’ Out Maxin” brilliantly flips a chopped Fresh Prince of Bel-Aire sample over slamming kick-snares that would make Schooley-D proud. The ridiculous “Say Whaaat” pays homage to the forgotten boomin’ system jam, as Ryu and Ap beautifully describe their L.A. surroundings referencing several 80′s staples from the Suzuki Samurai to Donald D. A more modern take on the thumping speaker-popper is “No Time To Speak”, which explores what these two would sound like over high-priced hip-hop production. The result? Slammin’.
The only real misstep here is the bugged out “Diamonds In Your Eyes”, where Ap really attempts to belt out a note, no autotune. Coupled with the fact that the song then launches into JJ Fad territory, complete with Ryu adopting the “Supersonic” flow, it’s not a good look. It’s obvious this was a goof, but you almost want the patented “rappers ending the track with laughter” outro (see Big Daddy Kane’s “Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy” or De La Soul / Teenage Fanclub “Fallin’”) to validate the fact. Even sillier is their cover of Jodeci’s “Come & Talk To Me”, which chops the original into an almost “Real Love”-esque R&B hip-hop jam. First listen it’s a complete curveball, but somehow they made it work. Perhaps it was Ryu’s “kill yourself motherfucker” ad-lib.
Uzi Does It is yet another satisfying piece of work from the Demigodz / Fort Minor camp, who prove they don’t need a major label behind them to produce excellent music. Both emcees are so talented, that naturally a producer like Scoop would choose to work with them for an entire album. It’s only a matter of time before the execs come knocking again.
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