10 April, 2013@4:23 pm
Our favorite workhorse, Alchemist, has no shortage of completed projects in the vaults, ready to have the trigger pulled on them at any time. The latest is Durag Dynasty, a group effort produced entirely by him, spearheaded by Planet Asia, alongside Tristate and Killer Ben. 360 Waves is the album, a rugged and raw record that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
With an almost Wu-Tang-esque stream-of-consciousness flow, each Asia, Tri, and Ben string together words and phrases at random, sometimes with hilarious results. Tracks like “Tender Greens” will find you quoting lines like “It’s all hieroglyph, Titanic oracle porch / That’s boatlandish, word to my nautical sport – they can’t stand it.” Like raps from Rae or Ghost, it’s pure, perplexing poetry, and absolutely fun to listen to.
That being said, with no rhyme or reason, nor confining song structure, this album is more about the production, as the lyrical barrage comes secondary. With Alchemist having a massive vault of beats to chose from, the success or failure of this record really depends on the beats chosen, and for the most part, it succeeds. Tracks like “360 Waves”, “Luxury Whip” or the aforementioned “Tender Greens” are like some pimp shit Tone would play for Kane in ’89, while “Spiral Event” (feat. Evidence) and “Fish Meat” (feat. Prodigy) are more experimental selections, that nail it like only Alchemist can.
Al obviously doesn’t give up all of his Nas-level beats to the D.R.D.C., as there are some average tracks – at least by Alchemist standard – included herein. At times the Dynasty attempt to go overboard with more abrasive tracks like “Funyons” and “Goon Call”, that unfortunately do little to stand out and get lost within the rest of the record. Still, Al’s at a level now where even his less than stellar beats outdo that of his peers – backpack or mainstream.
While the big money is on the Step Brothers project between Alchemist and Evidence, Durag Dynasty is a nice side project that shows Al’s longtime consistency, littered with multiple quotable lines from Asia and his crew.
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