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Written by: Robbie Ettelson
It’s only appropriate now that we’re halfway through the Flavor Unit Special that I mention this new 45 King album (released last year) that features return performances from none other than Lakim Shabazz and Chill Rob G! Lakim and Chill Rob have still got the goods after all these years out of the limelight, as they show and prove on The Cat Jams‘ opening tracks. While only the first six selections feature vocals, the King’s trademark instrumentals tracks dominate the rest of this project.
While DJ Mark used to pride himself on looping unknown breaks, this LP finds him flipping some old rap breakbeats like “Spoonin’ Jam” and “Catch The Beat” for the MCs to ride, giving this set the feel of something that was thrown together during a weekend of blunts, broads and booze in the King’s basement. It’s almost as if he just sampled whatever records he picked up off the floor first! This is by no means a criticism – the album has a raw, stripped-back feel which is a much needed relief to the over-produced beats that we’re bombarded with these days.
As much as I enjoyed hearing Double J, Big Pooh and Lady Champain again, The Cat Jams isn’t without it’s flaws. The songs with rhymes are all pretty short, and the names of the beat tracks are painful plays on the whole cat theme, with titles like “Panther Pounce” and “Cougar Creep” (wasn’t that one of Ron Burgandy’s aftershaves in Anchorman?). Still, it sure beats listening to the new Alkaholiks album!
The 45 King & Lakim Shabazz – Flow Motion [The Cat Jams, Tuff City, 2005]
The 45 King & Chill Rob G – Go Off Rob [The Cat Jams, Tuff City, 2005]
Review copy supplied courtesy of Tuff City Records.
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