Artist: Scarub & Very
Album: Afro Classics?
Label: LL Crew
Rating: 5 / 10
Reviewer: B Dids
I could cop out and say that this review is short (and late) because I was moving. That would be a bold face lie. I could have had this review done weeks ago if I could have brought myself to listen to the album. It’s not that it’s bad, it’s just that it didn’t hook me at all. I have a 3-disc in-dash changer in my car. This album was in one of those slots for most of the time I’ve had it – but how many times did I listen to it in the car? Once.
That isn’t to say this is a bad album. There’s very little about it that’s done poorly. It’s just one of the least engaging things I’ve ever listened to. A wack album might draw you in with its awfulness, but “Afroclassics?” isn’t remarkable in any direction.
There’s a weird blend in aesthetics, throughout the album. The flows of both MCs, while reasonably tight, are a touch too fast paced for most of the production : kinda. Most of the drums are also a bit too quick for the rest of the songs. The end result is mellow beats and busy lyrics and drums. In theory that might sound interesting – but it tends to just muddle the operation up. Things feel very uneven, as if the songs can’t quiet decide if they want to fly, or crawl.
There are a few songs where everything hits: ‘Shipwrecked’, ‘Public Relations’ and ‘Grits’. Here you’re getting quality lyrics (including a guest spot on ‘Grits’ from the Grouch AKA “the guy from Living Legends who isn’t wack”) and production that fits (a long side note: Not enough hip-hop pays attention to this. A hot beat isn’t very useful if it doesn’t mesh with an MC’s style. But when you get an album where the production is done with the MCs in mind – it sounds just amazing).
Lyrically there’s not much notable going on. Nothing painfully wack, but nothing that gave me any urge to rewind. Too bad, because Scarub and Very are attempting to touch on the political tip that not enough people are speaking on. The nominal title track ‘AfroClassicism’ – starts off very nice, but drags on to the point where it becomes long and boring. That felt like the MO for the album. Even if a beat was nice, or a flow was interesting – there wasn’t enough variation throughout the songs to keep it moving.
The best thing going on the album is a spoken word/comedy bit called ‘It’s Like This’. It’s nice, but when the most entertaining thing on an album is a skit… there’s a problem.
Again, not a bad album – just one that didn’t move, hook or do anything but drive me to listen to Bubba Sparxxx instead (that can’t be a good thing, right? : actually – Bubba’s pretty nice – I’ll give him a 7 out of 10)