CUNNINLYNGUISTS-“ Strange Journey Volume One”

Underground/backpackers CunninLynguists and releasing two records this year, and I just wrapped my ears around Strange Journey Volume One.  With appearances by Slug of Atmosphere, members of Nappy Roots, Guilty Simpson, J-Zone, Mac Lethal, and other folks discussed below, it’s more of a party than an album.

The KKKY remix with Nappy Roots is the banger here; it’s got a hot beat and good rhymes, and deserves a loud place on your current rotation.  And “Nothing But Strangers” is a close second, a team up with Sweden’s Looptroop Rockers and Australia’s Hilltop Hoods.  Yeah, they’re white rappers with accents, but despite having these two strikes against them, they do a decent job keeping up on this hos-on-the-tour-bus joint.  My favorite cut is “Don’t Leave Me,” the track with Slug, because it’s one of the few cuts on the record that tries to do more than be a party.  As usual, Slug brings a heavy meal to the barbecue.

Typical of a Cunnylinguists record—and even more typical of an album with so many guests– Strange Journey Vol. One is a little uneven.  On “Spark My Soul,” Inverse and Substantial seem to have trouble hitting the beat a few times.  The song never really gets a good groove going, which it really should if it’s going to rely on a hipsway beat.  But they more than make up for this with “Hypnotized,” with a stuttering hook of chipmunk reggae, the “Dance For Me” remix, and the cool, smooth “Georgia,” remix with Killer Mike and Khujo (of Goodie Mob).  Kno’s production is top notch (as usual).  The single, with a pretty funny video, is “Never come Down (The Brownie Song),” which asks, “Have you ever been high from the inside out?” Rarely has a get-wasted anthem beeen so poetic.

Don’t leave Me (When Winter comes) – Cunnylynguists with Slug of Atmosphere (YSI)

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