24 February, 2011@9:32 am
Indie hip-hop and conscious rap seems to have completely disappeared over the last few years, as today’s scene revolves more around “blog-hop” instead of a loose-knit family of indie labels releasing product via retail. Thankfully, there a few people left to carry on tradition, most notably the world famous DJ Revolution, and his new discovery Malcolm & Martin. Together they release a not quite perfect, yet solid, debut LP with Life Doesn’t Threaten Me.
“Bamboozled” find the trio at their finest, as the duo share rhymes over a rolling funk bassline, about the hood mindstate and it’s effect on both the culture and the music. “Ain’t Seen Nuthin Yet” is also perfectly executed, as a well timed sample helps animate the lyrics that center around the downtrodden lifestyle and struggle. Meanwhile, the “Mr. Big Stuff” parody, “Sista Big Butt” takes a more lighthearted approach about females obsessed with their own assets.
Much of the album is spent introspectively, offering an honest look at how the average rap cat feels about everyday life; something that has been repressed by today’s rap scene. The excellent “Blak Kofee” recounts a paranoid late night caffeine trip, while “Against The Wall” finds the duo dealing with the impending doom of ghetto life, over moody pianos and well timed cuts from Revolution. Speaking of cuts, Revolution adds his share of scratch tracks to help even things out; a nice change from the tired, poorly acted skits of today’s rap LP’s.
At 17 tracks deep, Life Doesn’t Threaten Me, is a heavy plate to digest, and at times does falter a bit. Nevertheless, this is one of the most honest hip-hop records you’ll hear along, coupled with production filled with heart and soul. Don’t be scared.
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