You might not be familiar with The Doppelgangaz, but they are four albums deep, with a rapidly expanding fanbase, despite no mainstream radio play. This is largely because this black and white, hooded duo of Ep and Matt Of Fact have tapped into the lost 90′s hip-hop sound, which comes through in their beats, their slang, and even the tongue-in-cheek spelling of their name. Only thing missing is “Da” in place of “The”.
Peace Kehd is perhaps their best album yet, as they really have come close to perfecting their sound. With hilarious rhymes almost reminiscent of a Sean Price or an MF Doom, the group is heavy on quotable lyrics, and this record has them for a dime-a-dozen. Case in point is this gem from “Fall Thru”: “Sittin’ on the set-y, mixin’ booze with fresca / While hookers cooking this spaghetti alla puttanesca.” In short, off-the-wall visuals and subtle sex rhymes from two guys that don’t take themselves that seriously.
The rhymes make it a fun listen, but equally great is their production, which really captures the essence of classic, 90′s hip-hop. While many have tried to replicate this sound over the years, Doppelgangaz come the closest, without sounding terribly retro. The opening cut, “Holla X2″ uses classic Lou Donaldson drums, meshing it with the forgotten G-Funk synth, and a clever vocal sample that sounds like “holler, holler”.
Beyond borrowing from the staple sounds of 90′s hip-hop, like Mobb Deep or Brand Nubian, they also draw from more obscure sources from the era as well. “Sh*t Rock” is a sleazy beat that would have easily fit somewhere on Dr. Octagon, while the lead single, “KnowntchooTahLie” blends heavy DJ Shadow-esque grooves with today’s trap drum patterns. The latter marks a step forward for the group, showing they are capable of making more “modern” music, yet that still holds the integrity of their original sound.
While their earlier works were a bit more grainy and almost seemed like a bit of a novelty act for aging heads like us, The Doppelgangaz have really grown and come into their own on Peace Kehd. Its only a matter of time before this crew is a more widely accepted and respected staple of underground hip-hop music.
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