Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Couch Sessions Reviews Lushlife's "Cassette City"

Stone of The Couch Sessions has provided a medium for me to learn about what's new and hot in music whether over or under the radar for about two years now. He has yet to switch gears and I really liked what he said about Philly's "Lushlife" in regards to left-field Hip Hop gaining his attention. For me personally, I'm a little more open to listening people who do fall into not only the "left-field" category but also the Southern rap and Boom Bap "Real Hip Hop" categories as well. I don't think that more artists should go left field because you should go for what you know. However, I do wish more left-field artists had more of a presence and were appreciated more in the game.

Cassette City

So a lot of y’all have been asking why I have suddenly abandoned hip-hop in favor of dance, pop, and other genres. It’s not because there is anything really wrong with hip-hop per se, it’s more the fact that the sheer acceiblity of the genre has enabled almost anybody to make a beat and drop it on zShare, thus diluting the product and making it harder to disseminate good from bad.

Add to that the fact that most MCs want to either sound like Soulja Boy or Lil’ Wayne on one side, or ultra underground 95 era on the other, and you have even more problems. It takes someone to truly “flip the script” per se to really get my attention.

Enter Lush Life. The Philly beatmaker approaches hip-hop not from the street, but from the lab, creating lucious, amazing beats that transcend anything I’ve heard this year. The laid back feel of Cassettee City makes for the perfect summer album, and on a recent trip to run errands (with the sunroof down of course) I ended up taking the long way home cause I liked the album so much.

Tracks like Innocence blur the lines between trip-hop and hip-hop, combining movie score like beats with East Coast lyricism, which that NY vibe heavily influences songs like “The Kindness,” and “Another Word For Paradise,” the latter featuring Hip-Hop favorite Camp Lo. Tracks like “Until the Sun Dies,” which combine some laid back beats with loud synths and a screwed sample that rides with MC Fakevinyl’s lyrics while Lushlife switches it up again for “Meridian Sound Part Three,” which has a heavy surf music influenced Beach Boys vibe.

Interlaced between the hip-hop tracks, Meridian Sound Part 1 is a little too left field for the disc. Even though the Meridian Sound tracks change the tempo of the album and almost seem out of place, Meridian Sound Part 2 is quite possibly the best song on the album.

Yes, Lushlife’s Cassette City might be a little left-field for hip-hop purists, but for those willing to play, it might end up being your sleeper album of the year.

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