The Aktive Ingredient: LNDN DRGS Reissue A Funk-Rap Gem

Deen breaks down the re-release of LNDN DRGS' 'Aktive.'
By    July 27, 2018

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This isn’t a particularly new or insightful sentiment, but one of the enduring joys of being a rap fan comes in the form of the myriad rabbit holes a great song can send you down if you’re an inquisitive sort. Basically, I said that shit to say, sampling is awesome and I don’t care how much it cuts into muthafuckas’ royalty checks. And, apparently, neither do LNDN DRGS. 

The duo of Jay Worthy (on the bars) and Sean House (on the beats) have quickly managed to carve out an aesthetic all their own that simultaneously fits into the current climate while standing out—mostly through Sean House’s obsessive mining of both classic and obscure funk, soul, and R&B samples from the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s. If Jay Worthy wasn’t so obsessed with pimping, you’d be able to play this shit around ya grandma on a regular basis but we can’t have it all because life doesn’t work that way. The formula works around 97% of the time though, so we can count that blessing.

In any case, between the Burnout series and the magnificent Aktive (originally released in late 2015—how time flies), LNDN DRGS has had a stranglehold on this writer’s easy listening. In the most inarticulate of ways, I’d have to suggest that the duo fits squarely into wherever you personally think folks like Curren$y and Le$ fit and I believe solid proof of that assertion comes in the form of their latest single, “Tomorrow,” with none other than Freddie Gibbs on the assist. If I’m being fair, the bigger assist actually comes from Giorge Pettus’ “Don’t Put Me Off Till Tomorrow,” since I have to dock Gangsta Gibbs points for rapping about “poop chutes”—I have strict rules on these things.

Points or not, LNDN DRGS just re-released Aktive as Aktive Deluxe with NINE new songs (thus, “Tomorrow”), including guests such as the aforementioned Gibbs alongside others like Curren$y, Krazy Bone, and Payroll Giovanni. So if you’ve been sleeping, now’s your chance to get familiar with LNDN DRGS’s oeuvre and your cool aunt’s record collection—but only if you’re black on that last bit. The rest of y’all should still check it out and PAY, too. Samples ain’t cheap.

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