Review – Deepspace5 ‘The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be’
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Deepspace 5 is back with another classic crew album with all in house production and raps. When you have a crew of emcee’s to represent, you get diversity in flow and production. This is the first offering from DS5 on the newly formed Mega Royal Records, headed by Dallas’ own Rob Viktum, who is known for his Viktumized remix albums. This is Deepspace5’s fourth crew album, even though each individual artist and the many sub crews have put out too many albums to name or try to number. When you listen to a group album, ideally you end up having your favorite rappers and sounds that stand out with each individual. This album is fresher than many of their previous albums, which may be a result of having several years both together and apart to hone their skills as emcees and producers. From Playdough’s stylistic singing to Listener’s “talk music,” styles vary and are complimentary. The crew brought seasoned raps full of metaphors and emotion. This album is a stand out this year.
The whole crew comes through to give the album a “Spit Shine.” This album is full of metaphors and references to written and verbal composition. It appears that Playdough, manCHILD and Listener were chosen to handle the hooks which provides some consistency to the signature sound DS5 provides the listener. Following the Intro, the album starts of with some force as the first track kicks you into the crews tenacious tag team word play on the upbeat “From The Outside.” With a nice soulful sample, which features the whole crew representing with rapid fire delivery and punchlines galore, I can see why this was the single. The catchy upbeat groove and rhythm of the rhymes bring texture to the track. The video to this track is really nice, and done in-house by DustBrand Films.
I’ll walk you through the highlights of the album for me…
“Ohgeez” is my favorite cut on the album. The hook sung by Playdough goes: “Watch out the veteran O G’s / looking real tough like O G’s / People Can’t Say Nothing but Oh Geez / Down For A Minute oh gee O G’s.” This is a dope track and cut. The verses are caught nicely between the horns and march step rhythms. The track sounds like House Of Pain’s “Jump Around” got slowed down and chopped. I love the sound and how the emcee’s deliver content that features “Leave It To Beaver” esque references to being veteran rappers with a little sample from “Nuthin But A G Thang.”
“Beat The Rap” Is a dope down the line crew cut, in which each emcee spits like a defense attorney tryna beat the case. There’s a lot of double time flows over this catchy track. The most convincing argument comes from Sintax.The.Terrific, which by day, is a lawyer practicing commercial litigation.
“Punch Drunk” starts out with manCHILD leading the pack on another track, and Playdough does his sing song rap with a little rock edge declaring that he’s, “Punch Drunk living water out a plastic cup.” I liked the bridge, “We are God’s people, we are love people, we are just people, we are just people.” Sintax’s verse is terrifically dope and probably my favorite verse of the whole album.
“Natural Selection” Is a dope track, that takes you through a history of recording audio sounds, as each emcee tackles a topic all the way from vinyl to the old 8 track, highlighting facts you might not know, to the present digital download divide. This is the illest concept track I’ve heard in a long time. You could call this Darwins manual to “the survival of the fittest music recording equipment.”
“And It Was Good” has the crew tackling the topic of creation, as each Emcee tackles one day each out of the six days of creation declaring that “It Was Good.”
The Beat Breakdown.
Beat Rabbi, Dust and Fred Bruno handle a majority of the production, with one beat offering from Harry Krum (also known as Playdough). The one draw back to having multiple producers on a album is that the sound can vary from track to track which can be good at times and distracting at others. For the most part Dust and Beat Rabbi’s production hold the album together providing uniform sound and consistency. The spaced out Intro features Listener over some futuristic sounds and kind of stands out from the album as a whole. Of course Dust’s production features soulful rock samples that tend to have an old school skating rink vibe.
Beat Rabbi clearly produced some of the hardest tracks of this album. “Spit Shine” is the first track that features the Rabbi’s production, and it hits pretty hard with a strong rock sample and a tambourine shake over the snare sound in the background. This track has some nice cuts on it. “Black Magic” has a pretty raw guitar sample with some bass, its a dark and moody track. The track “Ohgeez” hits hard, its got some bang to it, and I had this track on repeat. I love both the sample and beat.
Overall the album has a very consistent and very enjoyable sound. This album almost captures the same vibe that ‘Night We Called It A Day’ did with a whole new sound and concept. This album is definitely a classic that adds to the already solid collection of the Deepspace5 crew.
Label: Mega Royal Records
Release Date: April 27, 2010
1. Introducing Fhe Future
2. From The Outside (produced by Dust)
3. Spit Shine (produced by Beat Rabbi)
4. Lord Willing (produced by Dust)
5. Black Magic (produced by Beat Rabbi)
6. Oh Geez (produced by Beat Rabbi)
7. Punch Drunk (produced by Playdough)
8. Killing With Kindness (produced by Freddie Bruno)
9. Beat The Rap (produced by Dust)
10. Natural Selection (produced by Beat Rabbi)
11. All You Can Eat (produced by Freddie Bruno)
12. Geronimo (produced by Beat Rabbi)
13. Body Double (produced by Freddie Bruno)
14. And It Was Good (produced by Dust)
15. Where Amazing Happens (produced by Dust)