The beautiful thing about hip hop is that you can say some of the weirdest, most inane, ridiculoid phrases, but say them with conviction or jest, and suddenly you’re creating New Speak. From “rap at high speed strawberry kiwi” to “gimme them girls with the pumps and a bump”, it’s not really what you say, but how you say it. Try this on then:
Rattlesnake caught in a wheel well, strawberry in an ostrich throat.
Ten, the second album by Anticonners Why?, Dose One, and Odd Nosdam as cLOUDDEAD, is a study in pop-rap filtered through a William Burroughs MPC then dumped onto cassette and reinterpreted by three white guys jonesing for a critical beatdown. They don’t present themselves as inside joke to the culture, nor are they self-aware white liberal arts students itching to make an album after listening to Midnight Marauders for the 17th time. The arrangements of the beats rival Prince Paul’s work on early De La albums in terms of unpredictability and penchants for sampling British etiquette records. The tape hiss and shuffling of drum patterns at random are hemorrhaged from the Beat Konducta’s vaults. Dose One does he best to erase any memories of lyrical joustings with Eminem at Scribble Jam, while Why? harmonizes beautifully about dead dogs and b-ball courts in Cincinnati. Oddly enough, none of these guys seem to have a serious drug problem.
This is ain’t rappin, this is art-hop. Certainly not for all, cLOUDDEAD’s album shows what hip hop could be if subject matter stretched beyond money/cash/hoes/trappin and included cotton candy spun anyway we like it. Weird, sure, but in a way that early 90s rock bands were–catchy, bewildering, off-putting, and addictive. Dose One kinda looks like dude from Blind Melon anyways.–Zilla Rocca