Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Pure '94 dopeness (4.5/5)
ctrx | 'bout to show you how the EAST COAST rocks... | 03/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Down South's only album, 1994's "Lost in Brooklyn," has become quite an obscurity through the years but is an album I have come to adore. I only came upon it fairly recently, and I was drawn to it by the all-star cast of producers. Shawn J Period is in my mind a very underrated 90s producer, I was familiar with his production for Mad Skillz, Black Star, Artifacts, and Da Bush Babees, he's got a great sound and this was his group. A young Beatnuts and another Artifacts beatmaker, T-Ray, are also involved in production, so I knew I would at least like this album musically. And I did. The music is actually spectacular. Almost every track is laced with a totally dope sax loop, they sound so jazzy and soulful, they're really catchy, this is the best hip hop sax instrumentation this side of Pete Rock. The drums hit hard and the bass is deep, the sound is really great musically, it embraces all that was great about the beats of 1994. Down South has a kind of odd lineup, in addition to Shawn J Period, who's sort of the leader, they have a DJ who operates purely as the DJ, Myorr, and the rapper, Soda Pop. Soda Pop is a good rapper, a fairly basic east coast mid-90s MC. Although he's from Brooklyn, he has an odd obsession with the south. He raps about the classic southern pastimes, and embraces the concept of southern hospitality sort of in a Goodie Mob sort of way (although you wouldn't compare them otherwise). The choruses are often chants and yelling, it's just pure 1994 hip hop dopeness and anyone who loves that style will love this. This is simple hip hop, just dope beats and dope rhymes, but it's simply so likable in every way.
The tracklist is divided between the "South Side" and the "North Side." The first seven tracks, the "South Side," center around the southern country lifestyle, as you could tell from the song titles. The first song is "Down South," which serves as an introduction with dope beats, nice verses, and a chanted chorus that could have came from the Pharcyde. "Southern Comfort" might be my favorite one musically. The sax loop is absolutely gorgeous, it's perfect, and when the bass and drums kick in you're in for a treat. The hook is beautiful, delivered by a female vocalist, and Soda Pop raps about southern hospitality as in family gatherings and soul food. "Tractors, Rakes & Hoes" has a simpler beat with a good hook that has a soaring sax sample. The horn sample that starts "Jimi Crack Korn" is once again phenomenal, and the loopy beat makes for another nice song. "Spin da Boddle" is another dope, chant-heavy and catchy song, and the "South Side" is rounded off with "Departure," a nice instrumental, thus beginning the "North Side." The title track is awesome, upbeat and jazzy with a joyful sax and chorus that might have you yelling along with them. I think "Sitting Here" is my favorite song on the whole album, incredibly laidback and appealing. The sax and the twangy bass match perfectly, and the chilled out hook make for a perfect Saturday afternoon kind of song ("just sittin' here, chillin', just sittin' heeere..."). "Big Wheels" refers to the kiddy trikes as "the only mode of transportation" from "back in the day." Another instrumental, "Grupo de Rap," precedes the vibesy "Around the Clock." The production for "The Carbonated One" is excellent, the moving bassline sounds like it could come from a tuba and the all-over-the-place horns and crowd chants make this sound like a New Orleans jazz song with rapping. The light "Oh My" and crazy closer "Open Sesame," an ode to beer, round off the tracklist.
This album went totally under the radar in '94 and remains there today, and it's also nearly impossible to find. I suggest that fans of the early-90s jazzy rap sound go out of their way to find this. This album is really obscure but it's just so dope, the sound is so fun and it will make you reminisce for 1994 even if you've never heard this album before. I adore this style of production with the deep bass and heavy horn sampling, musically for me this is perfect. This is highly recommended, an awesome album."
A tall glass of East-Coast style "Southern Comfort"
SmokaJ | TORONTO | 01/13/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Who are these guys? I have no idea.
I bought this album for a number of reasons: a) 1994 East-Coast Hip-Hop is the sh*t. b) This was producer Shawn J Period's first (and only?) official group. Shawn J is a crazy slept-on beat maker, who's laid beats for Da Bush Babees, Mad Skillz and Black Star. c) The other producers on this album are The Beatnuts, T-Ray (did half the beats on The Artifacts 1st album) and Stretch Armstrong; all are dope. That all being said, I got the album and wasn't dissapointed one bit.
Down south is a trio consisting of Soda Pop (MC), Myorr the DJ and Shawn J (producer). The beats are funky and well-crafted (as was expected with this all-star cast of producers), and the virtually unknown MC Soda Pop rides the beats with an east-coast flow and a slight southern twang. His lyrics are dope, but nothing special - but who cares cause this is a chronic '94 head-bobbin' album.
1) Down South
2) Southern Comfort
3) Tractors, Rakes & Hoes
4) Jimi Crack Korn
5) Spin da Boddle
7) Lost in Brooklyn
8) Sitting Here
9) Big Wheels
10) Grupo de Rap
11) Around the Clock
12) The Carbonated One
13) Oh My
14) Open Sesame
Bottom Line: A CRAZY SLEPT-ON ALBUM! It's pure un-cut 1994 East-Coast sh*t, and any fan of good (real/old-school) hip-hop will love this. Who are these guys? I still have no idea, but they're dope and this album is a welcome addition to my collection. 4 stars, Peace."