With work picking up, I admittedly fell out of the routine of doing my weekly album synopses’ for Potholes. Worried I’d be rusty getting back into the routine of things, I was hesitant to see what album was headed my way for review. However, when you run across projects like Hail Mary Mallon’s Are You Gonna Eat That?, it makes writing that much more enjoyable. Built on the story of Mary Mallon, a woman from the early 1900s who spread Typhoid Fever via the food she cooked… It sounds a bit bizarre to base an entire Hip Hop album on. But once delve deeper, you’ll understand how this theme executes itself flawlessly.
Combining the various talents of the Def Jux Crew (Aesop Rock and Rob Sonic) and hip-hop certified DJ Big Wiz on the tables, this project is an adventurous foray into a blend of hip hop that seems to be very hard to execute lately. Successfully mixing old samples and production techniques that are straight out the ’80s with awesome, yet trippy electronic sounds and a modernized feel, the production on this album simply accentuates Rob and Aesop’s lyrical skills. Tracks like “Church Pants” and “Holy Driver” show off Big Wiz’s skills behind the production boards and turntables. Songs like “Breakdance Beach”, “Mailbox Baseball” and “Meter Feeder” are reminiscent of that 1985, Beastie Boys-type hip-hop, while joints like “Table Talk” and “Garfield” keep it true to that Def Jux sound they are known for.
I’ll be honest and admit that I didn’t listen to Aesop much before listening to this entire album in full, and I’m kind of mad that I missed out on his lyrical skills this long. This project might not have been able to stand ground if it only came from one of the three as a solo project. But together, it’s one of the more solid hip-hop releases to drop this year. This is what Lupe Fiasco WANTED Lasers to sound like. Well done, and congratulations to Rhymesayers, who always seem to get it in on the low.