Album: The Living Soul EP
Label: Groove Attack
Rating: 8 / 10
Reviewer: A to the L
3582? Thats it? Thats the name? What the fuck?
Ok let’s break it down for those who don’t know. 3582 is a 2 man crew made up of Fat Jon and J.Rawls. People in the know may recognise the name J.Rawls due to his critically acclaimed “The Essence Of…” which dropped in Spring 2001, and through his partnership with J.Sands as the Lone Catalysts. Fat Jon may not be as familiar a name, so let me provide a little history lesson.
J.Rawls hooked up with J.Sands at the University Of Cincinatti. Whilst there they met with a certain DJ Hi-Tek. Over the course of time, Hi-Tek brought Talib Kweli into the fold, Fat Jon’s crew 5 Deez jumped on board, followed by Mood, and lo and behold the WannaBattle Crew was born.
Although its J.Rawls who has gained a reputation as an ill producer, its refreshing to see that the production duties are shared fairly equally between the duo. (Although it must be noted that the majority of Fat Jon’s production work is on shorter interludes.) This isn’t the case with the mic time though, as J.Rawls seems to have been happy in most instances to stay behind the boards and let Fat Jon handle the rhymes.
The overall feel of the album? Well its reminiscent of vintage Native Tongues, albeit with a slightly harder edge – the production throughout carries the same soulful vibe that the JB’s and Tribe have become famous for. The 82 Mix of ‘No Need To Run’ is a prime example – a funky 60’s soul break interspersed with James Brown grunts and shrieks, resulting in a track that sounds old school, and at the same time fresh and new.
Elsewhere, the laidback soul of “The Living Soul” has Fat Jon dragging up memories of starting out in the Hiphop game. An autobiography of sorts – every rapper has done one before, but in this case Fat Jon’s flow (which is reminiscient of Mos Def) blend perfectly with J.Rawls production.
Also worth checking is the beauty of ‘Empty’, where Fat Jon rhymes over a stunning acoustic track, intermingled with a haunting female vocal. The inspiration for this cut? “How it feels to be hopeless.” An emotionally charged track, and probably the standout cut on the album.
If you want something with a harder edge then check the snappy beats on ‘Bad Form’, or the 35 Mix of ‘Yesterday’, where both cuts whilst retaining the soulful feel of the album, still possess a little bit more boom-bap.
Props also have to be given to the duo on the setting out of the inlay cover – under each song title’s production credits, there’s a few lines explaining the inspiration for each track. Its a real nice idea – one that lets you instantly see where the heads where at at the time the track was made. Read the lines, check the beats and the rhymes, and you already feel that you’re getting a little bit deeper into what these guys are about. A nice touch, and one that rounds off a damn good set.
This is definitely worth picking up. The production on the album is a thing of beauty, and needs to be checked for. Its just a pity when people are slating Hiphop music in the media for its negativity, that they can’t be exposed to this first. This would soon shut them up. Thumbs up.