Thursday, 2 June 2016

The Underachievers "It Happened In Flatbush" (2016)


I was very excited to see this record pop up in my inbox. The Underachievers are one of my favorite modern Hip Hop acts and their last full length "Evermore - The Art Of Duality" really made its mark on me. The first half of the two sided release is loaded with deep and meaningful messages about achieving in life and keeping on top of your goals. Its a record I frequently turn to when running and working out. Unfortunately "It Happened In Flatbush" isn't on that introspective wavelength and is stated as a "mixtape". Essentially a less focused and shorter release to tie fans over.

Initially this sounded fantastic. Tight spacey, dark beats and deep cutting baselines but a few tracks in the lyrics were tiring me. Gone is the insightful, thought provoking, life changing lyricism. In come the blow trading, braggadocios flaunt raps loaded with violence and threats. With much talk of gun play, settling rivalries and street warfare the mood is ripe for these dark atmospheric beats however Its not what Ive been in the mood for from the East Coast duo who won me over with their honest lyrics and positive attitudes. If the subject matter wasn't to my taste I couldn't deny their flows were pretty solid throughout and at times elevating with technical prowess. On the flip side there are a few singular rhyme flows cropping up with the word niggaz that gets nauseous repeating it over and over and over.

After a few banging beats at the start the album drifts into a continual setting of gritty, deep sub baselines grooving under spacious minimalist leads with flickering trap beats. With violent raps the atmosphere is tense and intimidating. With a lack of lyrical charm it simple wasn't my cup of tea and the most interesting thing beside the instrumentals were references to Master P and Silkk The Shocker of No Limit Records. Always fun to pick up on name dropping in Hip Hop.

Favorite Track: Al Capone
Rating: 4/10

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