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The Underachievers, Cellar Door: Terminus Ut Exordium (RPM MSC Records)
CD Reviews- 9/04/2014

09/04/14
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



Rappers Issa Gold and AK, as one component of Brooklyn’s Beast Coast movement, are decidedly old-school, and not just because they maintain a classic breakneck New Yawk-hip-hop speed limit — no, even their drugs are old-school. They’re head-drug kids who eschew the whole “say the first classless thing that pops into your head” aesthetic, favoring more positive phrasing for their disappointment and discontent, not that they’re eager to help out downtrodden fellow-travelers who refuse to fight the power. There’s a layer of 1970s-ness woven throughout, characterized by backward-masked loops, spooky humpback whale glissandos and cavitating bliss — hophead music, yes, and maybe a little too Wonder Bread at times (Portugal The Man slogs along to Zeppelin-esque closeout track “Amorphous”), but then again these guys aren’t aiming for alt hip-hop cred either, just the admiration of a dedicated circle of stoners raised on rap, which, come to think of it, has to number in the billions. B+

Eric W. Saeger

 





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