Dibia$e – Sound Palace (2011)


The LA beat scene’s new course in hip hop may be veering far too close to the multiple layers of synths of techy, fast-paced dubstep for many heads’ liking. However, it is also home to many producers who like to keep versatile, and seesaw between futuristic beats and more nostalgic beats, with jazz loops for instance. Dibiase, usually stylized as Dibia$e or Mr.Dibia$e, is a notable fit in this group. He may not be a producer you’re all too familiar with, but within the underground Los Angeles scene, he is often considered a conscientious underground legend. His laid-back music has been weighed against the likes of Nujabes, while his more modern-sounding, experimental beats have been compared to Flying Lotus’ work. Unquestionably something to flaunt.

Following his release of his “Cakeology” EP, Dibia$e is back with “Sound Palace,” another conscious wonder. Sure to give avid listeners of instrumental albums raging erections, or at least the ever-so-familiar urge to headnod. No sir, this is not music to listen to on a Sunday morning when you have nothing better to do. Alright, I’m getting carried away, but it’s still a good listen.

Dibia$e enthusiastically incorporates anomalous, abstract samples, and chose to follow a very distinct vibe throughout the album. The distinguishing quality of this album has to be the fact that it almost seems to represent a conflict between, or rather, an amalgamation of, his two styles of music. “Smooth Sailin” introduces us to the album with a mellow ambiance, as the name would suggest, and leads on to tracks with a more rugged, raw feel. Some tracks (“Fly Me 2 The Moon”) give the impression that he’s paying homage to Dilla himself. Others, namely “Rockout,” not so much. The album did have a few flaws. One of the biggest, I felt, was that transitions between tracks weren’t great, and variation and progression in the beats was lacking. Then again, with most of the tracks being around only two to three minutes in length, it’s expected.

All in all, about 35 minutes of absolute audio hypnosis, and some replay-value is definitely anticipated. My personal favorite tracks are Woman, Suncity, and Fly Me 2 The Moon.

81/100

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Waka Flocka Flame-Flockaveli (2010)


Flockaveli is the first official album by Bricksquad member and Gucci Mane underling Waka Flocka Flame. Now there are usually 2 polar opposite views you will have on this album. You will either A. Get hyped to it and love every second of it or B. Despise the repetition and vapidness that is blasted into your brain for an hour and 15 minutes.

Waka does absolutely nothing new or innovative on this album. Waka doesn’t even do the basics well. But he does have one thing going for him: charisma. What could have been a generic synth filled borefest in the hands of another no name southern rapper is turned into a rough, loud, ignorant album that is meant to be what it is. A fun listen.

Most of the album is produced by Virginia beatmaker Lex Luger, known mostly for his 300+ bpm hi-hat rolls and loud trunk rattling basslines, and it works perfectly for Waka’s style. The beats are fast and loud, and Waka nearly screams on many songs while injecting his trademark ad libs. The energy on the album is incredible, but the repetitive lyrical themes and rapid fire production can become grating after a while. Flockaveli is a long album and 3 or 4 songs could have easily been cut, making the album more concise and enjoyable.

Near the end of the album, I began to lose steam and found myself not really caring anymore. Despite this minor setback, Flockaveli is worth a listen, if only to find out which aforementioned category you would fall in. FLEX FLEX BOW!

75/100

An Introduction


Hi. I’m Banjo, creator, admin and, as of right now, only contributor of this blog. I’m hoping that once I get this up and running, I’ll be able to have new reviews regularly. Most of the content is going to be hip-hop related, although all music, as well as video games and movies are fair game.