Monday, November 29, 2010

80's Babies "Sonic Music"

It’s time to look at the album, and group, that is responsible for this whole bandcamp feature. Sometime in the summer I heard Sonic Music from the 80's Babies. Sure I was listening to some other jawns at the time but nothing quite struck me like this album. The fact that it was available almost exclusively from their bandcamp got me wondering how many albums could be out there in the ether a person would never know about it they didn’t just make one click.

The 80’s Babies are Dee Jackson on rhymes and Tall Black Guy cooking up the beats. The album falls in line with a lot of early underground east coast rap from about a decade ago yet nothing here sounds old. One of the refreshing qualities to this album is it’s air of newness. While I feel like I’m certainly listening to something inspired by music of the past, the 80’s Babies are not biting anyone delivering 16 tracks of original banging music.

The production throughout the album is ridiculous. Tall Black Guy flips so many jams, I’m afraid to investigate his crates be them digital or physical. From the “Intro” with it’s spacey synth line and drum-less groove in the beginning you will be mesmerized before Dee even starts dropping quotables.

Elsewhere he chops things so hard your neck might be in fear of snapping should you repeat listen all day long - and you will want. Horns get dropped in the mix, music is present in all his beats. Tall Black Guy has a great ear for melody and producing rather than just making a beat. These tracks grow and develop as you listen to em. On “C.O.B (Control Our Block)” he cuts the drums our and gives Knoc-Turn’al a fitlhy ghostly break to spit over, later in his verse bringing a mellower drum kick in over the piano keys he has making the track sparkle.

Most of the guests here are their homies from what I can gather. Crooked I also shows up on the aforementioned “C.O.B.” and delivers his trademark brand of scorching devastation he isn’t given the credit for being capable of enough. No one else here ever touches Dee Jackson though. The guy has a commandeering tone that insists you take him seriously. He never feels forced, his flow is as natural as Slick Rick’s story telling.

Topically Dee Jackson covers a lot of ground. Politics are addressed and their hometown pride in the current president shines through. The constant synchronous living with the internet and social media is a struggle and cause for confusion addressed in “Technology.” Stories are told on “Fighting Demons” about people in unique situations and the different demons that can be faced. Love isn’t far from the heart and Dee Jackson certainly has both. His daughter is mentioned with a sincere passion only a father could deliver.

No rap album is complete without some track extolling an emcee’s virtues on the mic and that’s here too. These two demonstrate a serious passion for the art, and a serious skill for it. Musically this album has made me smile, dance, laugh and just feel good about life. Lyrically its made me think, reflect and look at the life surrounding me. It’s great. Give it a listen below and if you dig it give em the 7 bucks - it's better than that sandwich you were thinking about for lunch.

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