It isn’t easy being weird, especially in today’s copy and paste hip-hop game. It’s easy...
DJBooth Album Review
While they’ve got a long, long way to go before they can be mentioned in the same sentence as Andre 3K, appropriately named foursome Hollyweerd – who despite what their name might suggest are from Atlanta – are closer than you might think on their new mixalbum Edible Phat 2.0. On their kind-of-gross-if-you-think-about-it-literally titled project, Dreamer, The Love Crusader, Tuki and Stago Lee prove that while their eclectic musical tastes can he hit or miss, when they hit they connect like Tyson in ’88.
As long as we’re on the subject, there’s no better place to start than with the knockout joint and lead single Supa Eazy. Throughout Edible the backbone of the mixalbum is stellar production, and on Supa Eazy producer Operation ADD takes an eminently Southern sound and gives it a kinetic push with riding percussion that, thankfully, the Holly crew let breath. If you’re not nodding your head to Supa Eazy, you might not have a spine. As dope as Supa may be, in the grand scheme it’s not that left-of-center; that honor would go to Love Me, a joint that sounds like it was recorded while orbiting the Earth. Once again ADD provides an intensely enjoyable beat that Hollyweerd drive home with sometimes spacey rhymes about love, and the opposite of love (a.k.a. your boy f**king your girl). Still, both cuts are practically normal when placed next to the cinematic So What!. My personal favorite track, So What! finds Holly taking a horror movie meets marching band meets LSD trip beat from 808 Experimenter SMKA and truly switch up their flow, break their bars into heavily cadenced lines that stalk across the track. It’s one thing to make new music, it’s quite another to make fresh music, and Edible Phat 2.0 is Ziploced.
Of course you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs, and by “omelet” I mean Edible Phat 2.0, and by “eggs” I mean tracks like Cut It Out. Those familiar with producer Dam Funk know the man’s not afraid to push boundaries, but sometimes a little fear is a good thing. Especially when it comes to the vocals, it’s hard to tell whether to take Cut It Out seriously or laugh; if it’s a joke, it’s an insider joke we’re not in on. There’s no such confusion surrounding Monkey – the pounding track is meant to be Holly’s foray into a more hard rock realm, and while I can picture getting down to Monkey given the right circumstances (late night, club, coked out of my skull), to more sober ears the track feels forced and heavy-handed. And as for the jazzy The Rooftop, we’re back in “are they joking?” territory. If they’re not, the track falls flat, and if they are, the joke’s frankly not that funny. Let the record show that I’m not against more singing driven tracks as a general rule. The hypnotic and deeply personal Lost Love is one of the mixalbum’s best and Narrow-Mind Bending, an audio attempt to reclaim the word “hipster”, mellows out in all the right ways. Hey, you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take, and despite some bricks, all-in-all Hollyweerd shots remarkably well from the field on Edible Phat. Just call them the Artis Gilmore of this rap sh*t. (Look it up.)
Frankly, even if Edible Phat 2.0 was an instrumental album I’d be bumping it, but their superb beat selection should can’t for them, not against them, and there’s no denying that almost anyone else wouldn’t have know what to do with beats like these. Hopefully Edible Phat is but the beginning of an ever-escalating catalog of weirdness for the Atlanta quartet. Hip-hop needs all the weird it can get.
DJBooth Rating - 3.5 Spins
Written by Nathan S. on Jul 14, 2010
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