Underworld’s “Born Slippy” lights up my headphones…
Paper Route Gangstaz…
The beat drops, the telltale Southern high-hat kicks in…
Stuntastic, yeah… in my own way…
Blaqstarr starts weaving laid back Southern rhymes about cash, skillz, and women… Fear and Loathing in Hunts Vegas is going to be a fun ride.
Mixed by Diplo (who also produces and remixes a number of tracks on the album) and DJ Benzi (who’s fresh off his Sky High success), Hunts Vegas’ refreshing ride through the rhymes of Huntsville, Alabama’s Paper Route Gangstaz leaves me feeling like I’m back home in Texas’ summer heat with rebel in my spirit, swagger in my step, and a car stereo that’s never loud enough.
Diplo, who normally entertains and educates his audience by exposing them to hidden world rythms and sounds (check out the wicked aboriginal track that opens this edition of his Mad Decent podcast), instead pulls beats from the past to match the tempo of PRGz rhymes while adding a layer of instant nostalgia. Diplo and Benzi however, can’t take all the credit for the smooth production behind the album as the PRGz themselves weave Sam Cooke into “Alabama”, something akin to Art of Noise’s “Moments in Love” on “Naturalz Part 2″, and Weezer’s Say It Ain’t So into “Grind Baby” (LOVE this one). The sound production on the album is so fresh there are moments where the sampling and rhythm-tweaking takes center stage leaving the lyrics behind.
Paper Route Gangstaz continue in the tradition of Southern braggadocio with rhymes like “I keep myself surrounded by some dime pieces every night / tall and short, thick and skinny, black and white / air tight,” and “everytime a playa hate / my rims hit a growth spurt / and if that’s how growth works / then go ahead & hate / and watch how these 24’s turn to 28s.” The lyrics are fun, but best left to fill a speaker than be studied on headphones.
Overall you get the feeling this is the kind of stuff that Benzi and Diplo love to hear when they’re not being music icons–a CD they would throw in at their own pool party in between Baltimore Bass tracks – which, let’s face it, we all love.
When you first hear Hunts Vegas, make sure you’ve got time to spare because you’re going to be drawn in, you’re going to want more, and you’re going to want to hear it again, at least for the nostalgia of some of the samples. I can only hope that working with Diplo and Benzi raises the profile of these men from ‘Bama enough to see them tapped to do higher profile production in ’09 for other artists, in addition to keeping up their own hustle.
PRGz – Bama Gettin’ Money (Diplo Remix)
X.O – Grind Baby
Download “Fear and Loathing in Hunts Vegas”
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