I’m not going to lie, I’ve been sitting on this one for at least two weeks, trying to figure out how to go about talking about the album without sounding really middling. The gist of it is this: I like this album, but I’m not good at remembering what I like about it unless I’m playing it. No joke, I’m actually playing it in the background as I type this so I don’t lose track of what I want to say.
Friends of mine and listeners of the show whose tastes I trust have been telling me about this group for a while, and like I usually ended up doing, I added Flatbush ZOMBiES to the ever-growing list of “Artists People Keep Telling Jason To Check Out But Jason Will Get Around To It Eventually When He Stops Playing The Same Stuff Over and Over Again.”
One day, not even a few months ago, someone shared “Palm Trees” from their mixtape BetterOffDEAD and I wanted to beat myself up for not peeping them sooner. The next step was to check out the whole tape, and the whole time… I mostly found myself waiting on “Palm Trees” to come back around. I only remember that song and “222” if I’m being honest with you. That same sentiment, unfortunately, carries over to 3001: A Laced Odyssey.
Don’t let that last paragraph get you down. Again, I like this album. These guys can rap. Meechy Darko is strange but memorable (I specifically remember him from a cut on Freddie Gibbs & Madlib’s Piñata) and they all do a pretty good job of moving with the beats here, a lot of which I think are great. There’s just nothing that truly STICKS out of all of this for me. And I’ve listened to this album five times trying to pull out enough to write some words down for it. Some of the beats feel hollow and the guys struggle to fill the void sometimes. But there wasn’t anything that was BAD, which is why I feel so weird about what I’m writing.
(For those that are new here, my general rule of thumb is that I don’t write or talk about music that I don’t like or that I wasn’t interested in to begin with.)
Anyway, that’s what I walked away with after listening to this new album. I realize it’s not much. There were a lot of great moments here, like with the intro, “Bounce”, “A Spike Lee Joint” (my personal favorite), and some beats like “Ascension” and “Trade-Off” really bang. There was also a lot of fluff here to extend the runtime, like the interlude “Fly Away” and the last eight minutes of “Your Favorite Rap Song.”
Would I ask someone to turn this off if it was playing in the car? Not at all.
Will I be peeping their next project? Definitely!
Can I confidently suggest this album to a friend? Not really.
You happy, Dom?
Bounce, A Spike Lee Joint
Have you listened to this album yet? Am I crazy or do you feel the same way? Did I listen wrong? Drop your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks for reading. And check out the new episode of the podcast while you’re here!