Filed under: Features,Fudge Rap,LA LA Big City Of Dreams,Not Your Average,Shit I Don't Like,The Unkut Opinion
Written by: Robbie Ettelson
If there is one thing that really pisses me off, it’s pretentious Coffee Shop Art Rap. This album was released during the height of the “experimental” LA hip-hop movement, which gave us high-pitched whiny efforts such as The Pharcyde and The Wascals (who were just a shittier version of the former). I guess we should blame the Good Life Cafe, which was fawned over by RapPages and other music mags on account of being a refreshing alternative to rapping about girls and guns over P-Funk. The thing is, King T and the Alkaholiks proved that it was possible to make great rap out West without sounding like a bunch of jazz loving beatniks, but since they were basically brag rappers the hip-hop media craved something more “left-field”. Thus the world had to endure the “conceptual improve” styling that is the Freestyle Fellowship.
These guys are basically rap’s answer to those filthy hippies who indulge in drum circles and fire twirling in the local park, and on this album they were able to identify every single thing that the Conservative Rap Coalition dislikes about experimental, progressive hip-hop. Aceyalone, Myka 9, P.E.A.C.E. and Self Jupiter give us stupid voices, trippy jazz freak-out beats, ironic singing/harmonizing, high-brow/ridiculous song concepts and fail to deliver a single track that I can sit through without wanting to injure myself and those around me(including red herring “Bullies Of The Block”). Basically, these guys are like the first black hipsters, and as a result are deeply adored by many “progressive” rap bloggers, who no doubt traded rare tapes of obscure Freestyle Fellowship interpretive dance performances on Betamax.
All I can think of while attempting to sit through this shit sandwich of an album is, “Why am I listening to a poor man’s Last Poets?” The greatest tragedy is how they tricked the great man Daddy-O to contribute a couple of beats to this project. I can only imagine that one or more of the members of this raggedy bunch must have run over my beloved puppy in a former life, since my blood boils within seconds of hearing this record. Looking back, it was the carefree, devil-may-care experimentation and “courage” to break from tradition that set the stage for some of the abysmal rap that currently pollutes the atmosphere, and no doubt gave guys like Slug – funnily enough also from a crew called Atmosphere – the justification to make his own shitty rap. Slug begat Sage Francis, who begat Odd Future who begat whoever the fuck is making wacky rap today. Eff your Skat Rap. Don’t even get me started on Digable Planets…
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