Constant Deviants is a duo consisting of rapper M.I. and producer DJ Cutt. Both are veterans from the Brooklyn/Baltimore areas and they’ve been in the game since the mid 1990s. The duo has had an extensive history which includes M.I. signing a solo deal with Arista at the turn of the century back in 2000 and DJ Cutt going on to engineer a number of albums for the famous Jay-Z/Dame Dash label Roc-A-Fella. But the two reunited in 2009 to form their Six2Six Records imprint. And here we are now with their latest release Avant Garde.
With this album being my introduction to the Constant Deviants duo, I was pleasantly surprised but what I’ve heard. Many rapper/producer duos have rarely ceased to amaze in hip hop history, with legends Eric B. and Rakim for example and even the underground Boston duo 7L & Esoteric. And like these duos just named, M.I. and DJ Cutt have excellent chemistry. DJ Cutt’s production golden age, jazzy-influenced production style was great to hear and gave the album a very chill and welcoming vibe. And when I heard M.I. start to go in on the title track, also the first track, I instantly thought of Method Man of the Wu-Tang Clan and 50 Cent. His voice sounded like a great mixing of the two but regardless, M.I. still establishes his own identity and with great lyricism.
The title track where M.I. says “Pain got my brain in a feeble position” and where is says “Day is a nightmare. I sleep to get away from it”. Great examples and all in the title track mind you. My favorite songs, so far, on Avant Garde were the title track, “Standards” (track 2), “It’s like that” (track 3), “Breathin'” (track 6), and “Whatever you call it” (track 7). DJ Cutt’s production cannot be forgotten and he even states his production comes from various sources of inspiration like boom bap, hybrid jazz, and even soul. If you’ve just thought of Souls of Mischief, Hieroglyphics, or De La Soul, you need to give Avant Garde an urgent listen.
Constant Deviants’ Avant Garde is available now and you can buy it HERE through the Six2Six Records bandcamp page.