Showing posts with label dilated peoples. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dilated peoples. Show all posts

Thursday, August 14, 2014

video review: 'directors of photography' by dilated peoples

Took way longer than I would have liked, but it's done. Pretty damn proud of this review, too.

Okay, need more time before Spoon or Pallbearer... hell, might as well cover that Porter Robinson record everyone keeps asking me about...

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

album review: 'directors of photography' by dilated peoples

It's really been a shockingly good year for hip-hop music.

Well, you wouldn't know it if you only followed mainstream rap, but 2014 has proven to be shockingly good both in the introduction of new talent, an explosion of established MCs delivering solid projects or going in a new direction to strong results, and even old underground talents returning to the spotlight with seriously solid records. It's definitely a shame more of it hasn't elbowed its way into the mainstream just yet, but really, that's only just a matter of time, especially as a slew of strong records from TDE continue to gain mainstream attention and even some airplay.

But TDE isn't the only hip-hop label that's putting out quality, and this takes us to Rhymesayers Entertainment, an indie label based in Minneapolis who has some seriously talented MCs behind it like MF Doom, Brother Ali, and Step Brothers, the collaboration project between producers and rappers The Alchemist and Evidence, who released their debut record this year Lord Steppington.

But here's a funny thing: The Alchemist and Evidence have worked together before, on a project that has a certain amount of justly deserved critical acclaim in the underground. That project was Dilated Peoples, featuring the trio of DJ Babu, Evidence, and MC Rakaa Iriscience. After almost a decade of work, they released the exceedingly strong one-two punch in 2000 and 2001 with The Platform and Expansion Team, two records designed to be a thinking rapper's counterattack to the overheated violence and melodrama of gangsta rap. And while I definitely think The Platform is stellar, I couldn't help but notice the flow and wordplay seemed to simplify and get less interesting with each subsequent album, especially on 2004's Neighborhood Watch that had simpler production and their one genuinely awesome charting hit 'This Way' featuring Kanye West. They managed to pull things around with the reasonably solid 20/20, but it was the sort of return to form that simultaneously went grittier, more political, and a lot less likely to break through. It was their final album on Capitol Records, and after that, the group did not release an album or singles for years, going on to other projects and never really indicating there would be another Dilated Peoples record.

And yet this year, where many veterans have returned to the microphone, Evidence, Rakaa Iriscience, and DJ Babu have come together to drop a new album titled Directors of Photography, and you can bet I wanted to check it out. How is it?