I didn’t love Joey’s 1999 mixtape, but I felt good enough about it and his performance on other songs that I planned to try Summer Knights too. I’ve been playing it off and on for a few months, trying to figure out this attitude of meh that I couldn’t escape. One of the reasons for this deliberation is that, despite what my writings might imply, I don’t like being negative. But more importantly, I feel like there’s something here that I’m not understanding, and once I get it the “meh” will be replaced by a stronger feeling.
I actually digested Trap Lord a while back and just never wrote about it. What that delay says about my evaluation of the album will have to remain unconfirmed for a few more sentences. Maybe I just got busy? Anyway, I was content to move on quietly from this A$AP Ferg album, but T, our newest commenter, asked for my opinion. So here it is. Blame this on T…
While the best rap verses can have great displays of creative lyricism, I feel like I’m constantly criticizing people’s concept execution and song-crafting. It usually feels like I’m listening to collections of songs by the same people rather than whole albums. This is fine on stuff like the Demigodz’ latest album, but with other releases it’s painfully obvious that the artists tried and failed to do more.
Enter Flatbush Zombies. Rappers Meechy Darko, Juice, and rapper/producer Erick Arc Elliot, have embraced the horrorcore vibe that I associate with Gravediggaz. They were dope on Camouflage Dons off Statik Selektah’s Extended Play mixtape, but on a 19-track release they’re considerably less impressive. Why?
Well, they’re inconsistent rappers. But, moreso than their spotty individual skills, my problem with Flatbush Zombies’ Better off Dead mixtape is that the conceptually interesting songs are sometimes the weakest. Although it’s being called a mixtape, BoD is really an unofficial album. It doesn’t have any features, none of the beats are hijacked, and like a hand-crafted album, some of its songs flow seamlessly into the next song. So it occupies an album-shaped space in my head and I’m forced to judge it as such. And as a horrorcore album, BoD fails. Where I expected to sometimes be freaked out with its weirdo adventures, a lot of what’s here instead left me bored.
I liked The Underachievers’ Indigoism so much that months later, I’m still playing it and digesting the lyrics. My only real problems with it were the apparent obsession with drugs and monotonous word choices. Well now, these boys from Brooklyn are back with a new mixtape, The Lords of Flatbush, but instead of addressing the above problems (I’m sure they read my review and were horrified to realize that I was displeased), AK and Issa Dash chose to preserve them and add a heaping helping of basic, slow, southern-influenced beats. So yup, color me annoyed.
The Underachievers are two rappers, Issa Dash and AK, from Brooklyn, New York. They’re a part of the Beast Coast crew, which includes a guy named Joey Bada$$ who’s apparently worth way more than half a damn. Indigoism is their first release, and off the strength of some great Youtube groundwork, it’s backed by Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder label. But don’t get too excited yet, he didn’t produce anything here. Continue reading Hasty Generalization: Underachievers – Indigoism