For those who don’t hang around with the skinny-jeaned set, I’ll let you in on a little secret: there’s nothing hipsters love more than recognizing stuff. Ever seen a toddler walking through the zoo with his parents, gleefully pointing out every single animal he remembers from his See ‘n’ Say back home? Well, incorporate an obscure but not too obscure rock/pop record into a hip-hop beat and watch every scruffy twentysomething in the room instantly regress to the age of three. The point being, Booth newcomer Lushlife knows his audiences; on album cut In Soft Focus , the Philly up-and-comer flips For Kate I Wait by Ariel Pink (a lo-fi singer/songwriter known for his, um, distinctive falsetto vocals and incredibly awkward live shows) into an catchy chipmunk-indie accompaniment to his exultant underground rhymes—he even enlists the guest verse services of Slum Village emcee Elzhi, whose nonchalant flow sounds right at home over Lushlife’s lushly sampled backdrop. In Soft Focus is a prime example of pure hip-hop with indie appeal, and if Lushlife can maintain that balancing act throughout his Cassette City LP (out July 7th), it’s a good bet crossover success will be in his future.
Written by richard on 06/29/09
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