Five or so years ago I would of adored an album like this. Its clearly got those classic 90s Hip Hop vibes, soulful and jazzy with funky fresh flows. Back then I just couldn't get enough of the scene, Ive listened to so much of it now I'm actually surprised this one managed to get past me. The Souls Of Mischief are four MC's from the West Coast who are part of the Hieroglyphics collective led by Del The Funky Homosapien, who unsurprisingly produces a couple of tracks and features a verse on another track. Despite being from the West Coast, Souls don't rock the G-Funk vibes, in fact their sound more so resembles the East Coast but their streak of uniqueness is both in the technical yet inspired raps and the instrumentals which combine elements of the smoother Jazz Hop with the hype and energy of Boom Bap.
93 Til Infinity is their debut and said to be the groups best, such a common occurrence in Hip Hop. With an abundance of youthful energy and desire to make themselves heard, Souls put together a rich journey of impressions told through the lens of their lively, rugged rhyme styles which stand apart from the crowd. With a majority of smooth sounds drawing samples from Jazz and Funk, the MCs bring contrasting flows that duck and weave with the lyrical dexterity for trading blows between intricate mid sentence rhyme play, flow chopping and train of thought consciousness raps. Its all impressive and at times the flows can get quite technical but one of the group, Opio, has a nasal tone and on a couple of songs the fidelity of the mics used gives it a thin and rasp sound, a slight gripe I have but the point should be the contrast. All four have tones and flows that stick out from the often smooth backing which is its charm, on occasions it can dip a touch to far.
There's no doubt you'll find plenty of favorite lines scattered across the fourteen tracks. At fifty five minutes it does draw on but the group have a lot more to say than the average record. Apart from one or two boisterous tracks and flows it seems as if there is always a point to be made, an observation to be told and it comes through plenty of tricksy flows to show off the groups creativity. The production is somewhat varied to my ears, there's quite a clutter of sampling at work and through the layers a strong vibe emerges however there are a handful of songs where the clutter is a bit much the song gets muddy and some of the samples rub up against each other. The drums however are always sturdy, providing a solid bombastic groove for the flows to align with.
I didn't get deep into this record but a few years back this would of been my addiction. The vibes are on point and the lyrics are continually charming with creativity and originality and I think you could really get into some of the more technical flows that demonstrate multi syllable rhyming ans all sorts of techniques to sink your teeth into as a listener. Its been a fun listening experience, I can totally dig why people say 93 Til Infinity is a classic!
Favorite Tracks: Live And Let Live, A Name I Call Myself, Anything Can Happen