“They are who we thought they were.” Former NFL coach Denny Green’s often parodied words are the first that come to mind when listening to Los Angeles’s Flashbang Grenada. Regan Farquhar’s ability to bend his pneumatic vernacular around a gamut of eclectic production as the hole-poking, semi-solemn Busdriver has been noted. Dude is nice…slept-on or not. Fellow Project Blowedian and esteemed battle-rapper NoCanDo is the simpler Yin to Busdriver’s verbal Yang for the Flash Banging and their debut 10 Haters will most likely draw more than that.
Despite receiving production from nine different artists, Busdriver included, most of the music on 10 Haters incorporates 8-bit babble with the trite, reverberant bass noises associated with all things dubstep. While the Nintendo twinkle of Dibiase-opener “Good Cop Bad Cop”, is the most tolerable, the hackneyed choruses of tracks like “Beat My Bitch”, “Moisturizer” (We’ll make you touch yourself when we put this on you) and “Teleport” (I can teleport, hoe, I’m too fly to fly) painfully strip away the bit of lyrical content offered. The ‘haters’ mentioned throughout the record (hipsters, bloggers, street wear focus groups, Fader Fort attendees, etc…) are most certainly the same kids who would be bro-stepping to a song that commands you to dance like an old dead white man/cool as a corpse (“Bernie’’).
Busdriver sings between his spit throughout, (check his indie-pop project Physical Forms for a better example) teetering between facetious and cynical with bars like squash numbers, punch hookers when I’m on a juice-fast…don’t be mad cause there’s no genre you can unfit me in, while NoCan plays a boisterous, glorified hype-man, delivering one liners you’d expect from a battler (call it boss, I’m all-state, it’s Tony Danza/ I’m real right I write real no phony stanzas…now it’s a blessing/ if haters were dollars I could pull the country out of recession).
Caught between the self-loathing bestowed by his city and his own compelling undertaking of hip hop, Busdriver whimsically drops science with a jeering ethos, but he’s not always funny and it doesn’t always sound great. After all, “pretending we’re not hipsters is what hipsters do best.” They are who we thought they were.