November 29, 2006

CD Review: Subnoize Souljaz - Droppin' Bombs

I've said it before, I'll say it again, and will probably repeat myself ad nauseum down the line. I am not the best suited to review a hip hop album. It is not a realm of music in which I am terribly critically versed. I have been known to dip my ear to the speaker on occasion when a beat or voice catches my attention, but that isn't all that often. This release just happens to be one of those times when I have risked my neck to bump this rap stuff while cruising in my mini-van.

The Subnoize Souljaz are a collection of artists on the Suburban Noize label, home to such artists as Kottonmouth Kings, Judge D, Big B, Dirtball, and rock acts like (hed) PE, Mower, and Wicker Wisdom. This collects the cream of the hip hop crop in various combinations spitting rhymes and generally having a good time mixing a little politics with a heavy dose of weed in a party atmosphere.

Droppin' Bombs is underground rap at its most accessible. It has a certain edginess, but it is delivered in a catchy way that you will find it impossible not to bob your head and slip into the beats and distinctive voices. In the end it may not be the deepest of albums, nor is it among the upper echelon of hip hop releases of this, or any, year. You're probably asking yourself why you should waste your time with it. The answer is relatively simple, this is fun.

Good beats that don't sound like you have heard them a thousand times before meld with a who's who of the Subnoize label. It is almost like the Kottonmouth Kings threw a party, everyone showed up and they decided to lay down some rhymes while participating in mass consumption.

The party kicks off with "Here We Go Again," featuring Big B, Dirtball, and Daddy X over a beat that is upbeat and downright infectious. It is more of an introduction to the new Subnoize venture, and it does a pretty good job at it. It wasn't long before I was hooked. That is followed up with a political track in "Uncle Sam," a little seriousness before the mass consumption takes over. Saint Dog, Daddy X, and Judge D join forces in their rhymes of kids getting brainwashed by their country and sent overseas to fight.

Before long our party hosts, the original Kottonmouth Kings (D-Loc, Richter, Daddy X, and Saint Dog), get the porty going with their weed jam "Still Smokin" which has that vintage sound as they rhyme about their favorite of all herbs. From here on out, it is pretty much party all the time.

There are definitely a few tracks that stand above the rest. One of those is Big B, Dirtball, and Daddy X cut "Mayday," an upbeat quick paced jam. Jared from (hed) PE makes an appearance alongside Big B and Daddy X on "Get'em Up," another standout cut. One of my favorites is the title track which features Psychopathic records stars Twiztid (who also appear on the best Potluck track on their disk). This brings the Psychopathic and Kottomouth families together in a track that has a driving hard edged beat and good MC interplay. Then, just to switch things up a little, they throw punk act Last Laugh featuring Richter together for last track which stands apart from everything that came before it and hints at the variety found on the label.

Bottomline. It may not be the best, it may not be the smartest, but it does offer up plenty of good beats, good MC mixing, and a lot of fun. This is a disk that you can put on and groove to from start to finish without hitting anything that is outright bad. Pick it up and see what Subnoize has to offer.



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