It’s been a while since Columbus rapper Blueprint dropped his Rhymesayers debut full-length 1988, but that’s not to say he hasn’t been busy. His solo hiatus has found him recording with Greenhouse Effect and Soul Position all while running his Weightless Recordings label. Clearly, things have changed in the past few years. While 1988 was drenched in boom-bap nostalgia, Adventures in Counter-Culture is a step forward in time for Blueprint.
Blueprint’s new direction is evident in tracks like “Mind Body and Soul”. Electronic distortion over Angelica Lee’s vocals and high-pitched synths mark a sonic change for ‘Print from 1988 as he rhymes about his life-long devotion to hip-hop. Along with production changes, Blueprint also lets the album showcase his abilities as an emcee, as well as a vocalist. On “Stole Our Yesterday”, ‘Print mixes his hip-hop foundations with a new found R&B influence that he carries throughout the album.
Honestly, the album didn’t resonate strongly with me after the first listen. It could be the change in production that didn’t strike right away. It could have been the more R&B leaning vocals that threw me off at first. Whatever it was, it went away after a few listens and I began to really appreciate the musical progression Blueprint showed in Adventures in Counter-Culture. Blueprint says it best on album highlight “The Clouds”: “I’ll start in ’88, then bring you up to date/Then skip ten years ahead so you don’t have to wait/I’m what the future sound like and Imma make you see it”. Adventures in Counter-Culture isn’t the years best at this point, but it might just be the most overlooked.