This album is nuts. It is crazy. It is full of life and character and complete mayhem. It’s the most over-indulgent album this year. It’s the hip-hop record most likely to appear to the hipsterrati, who tend to shy away from booming beats and aggressive rhythmical talking in favour of spiky angular singing. Squeak E. Clean is Spike Jonze’s brother and Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ producer. DJ Zegon is a Brazilian baille funk wunderbar kid. This album is their chance to have a wet dream stellar cast. The wealth and richness of the cast of collaborators overweighs the album itself and I found myself loving it, salivating for it, lusting after it, obsessing over it for the first five spectacular listens, so won-over by the castlist was I. Only after the novelty died down did the cracks start to appear. But then, I thought, screw it, this is spectacular.
Nick Zinner and Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. KRS-One Rza Posthumous Ol’ Dirty Bastard Method Man Ghostface Lykke Li Santogold Lovefoxxx from CSS Tom Waits David Byrne MIA Kanye West Fatlip from The Pharcyde George Clinton
Phew, there are still more but these are the standouts. From the funk and yelp of Clinton and Chali 2Na’s rallying ‘There’s a Party Going On’ to Sizzla and Lovefoxxx’s soca-dripping ‘A Volta’, the disparate gamut of the hip-hop experience is lifted. It’s never downbeat, never too thoughtful or sombre. This is block-rocking party music throughout. Kanye and Santogold drip class and sophistication on the poptastic electro-beast that is ‘Gifted’ while the tailend of the album descends into booty-shaking entertaining baille funk. The true mastery of this album is the way the stars are mixed up. To hear Karen O alongside ODB suddenly sounds perfect, while Tom Waits’ disturbing wails offset Kool Keith’s spacious special raps. MIA, Spank Rock and Nick Zinner all bring disgusting riddims to the beguilingly aggressive and brilliant ‘Whatchudoing’. Ultimately, this is an album with no cohesive theme nor political agenda, nor concept like similar forays by Handsome Boy Modelling School and others, but it is the most interesting use of its cast. The production is tight and fun and always light, full of bass and bounce, while the castlist is a constantly rewarding treat. Treat yourself hipsters, rap isn’t scary, here, it’s just ridiculously funky. Essential listening.
Hello and welcome and yeah... in an oversaturated blog-o-glob... we throw our 2 dubloons in.
Avocado Picker: 28, author, journalist... specialist subjects include: the Wire, the post X-Files career of Agent Scully, Bollywood music 1950-1970, Spider-man, Dare Devil, The Sopranos, British comedy 1990-present, the complete works of Chuck Palahniuk and Aniruddha Bahal, Arnie films pre- True Lies, and different uses for cheese in culinary situations.
The Mystery Voice: 30, software engineer, time waster... specialist subjects include: Linux (etc), C++ & PHP (and other animals, yawn), Physics (blah), British comedy past and present (yay), grand master Mornington Crescent (huh?), the incomplete works of Douglas Adams and Bill Bailey (wtf?)