*Warning: Hip-hop below. You have been warned.*
Welcome to the second part of my week of musical deviance. As I mentioned in the first post (found here), I haven’t really listened to any riffs this week. Instead I’ve been alternating between big-band jazz and the subject of today’s post, hip-hop.
I’ve always liked hip-hop to a certain degree but I’ve always been picky about what I like to listen too. This has made my taste somewhat eclectic, bouncing between Australian natives Hilltop Hoods to some classic Wu-Tang. Two things I always look for are interesting beats and infectious rhymes, something that the self-titled debut from the 35 person collective, Quakers, has in spades..
By the numbers this is a project headed by 3 produces, featuring 35 MC’s and resulting in 41 tracks with a run time of just over an hour. So yeah, it’s a pretty big fucking collection of music. I’m not going to start naming names either, partially because of the sheer number of bodies involved but mostly because even if you followed recent hip-hop these names wouldn’t ring a bell.
The project was created as an effort to showcase the biggest and brightest talents that no ones heard of and then cramming all their rhymes into one massive album. The first thing I noticed after finally finishing a listen through is that even though this collection covers a dozen different styles, beats and rhythms, it all ends up sounding musically cohesive. Tracks flow together perfectly, sometimes you can’t even tell the song has changed until a new MC starts up.
One problem with this approach is some songs manage to stick in your head much more than others, causing the next couple tracks to loose their oomph. This is a very small complaint though, as more than %80 of this album is top-notch shit to my uneducated ears. Due to that fact I’m just going to highlight some of the tracks that really stood out to me, when in reality, the whole album kills.
One of the first tracks to hit me was the huge brass section and back-alley drawl of “Fitta Happier”. Watch below.
This is exactly the kind of stuff I look for, beats that slap a nod into your head and rhymes that make you feel like a twelve foot tall grizzly bear smoking a blunt and driving a Cadillac. Next up is “What Chew Want”.
Smooth flows, drum breaks and one hell of a voice. A couple tracks later we’ve got “Mummy”.
And a little later on we get the last track I’ll showcase, “War Drums”.
Even with those four tracks you can see a huge difference in the beats, rhymes and flows but nothing every sounds out of place. Everything ends up mixed together perfectly, a challenging feat considering every track is scrabbling for your attention. It’s a rapid fire of underground hip-hop that just sounds so damn good and like I said before, none of the 41 tracks disappoint.
So if you’ve made your way through that and still haven’t condemned me as a blasphemer and stormed off in a huff, then you can pick up “Quakers” from the US iTunes or from Stones Throw Records. Links below and don’t worry, the riffs will be back tomorrow.