If West Coast veteran Murs and solidified up-and-comer Fashawn hopped in a topless ’64 Impala and needed something breezy, g-funked and properly gritty to blast while cruising down Sunset Boulevard, it makes sense that they’d play This Generation, the real album that sounds like such a cool ride.
And no, the ride does not include driving around for hours due to wrong directions or someone vomiting in the backseat from alcohol poisoning.
Its more along the lines of some sultry, funk-infused beats crafted by producers Beatnik and K-Salaam, paving the way for signature tough-guy lyricism from the duo in question: a totally relaxed Murs and a nasally, witty Fashawn.
Together, it almost sounds like playing through Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for the first time without, of course, the visual element and the controversial Hot Coffee mod.
Tracks like “’64 Impala” bring that laid-back vibe to a head with a spicy smattering of electric guitar, righteous bass runs, green-apple sour synthesizers and sizzling percussion, while Murs&Fash lay in the cut: “My baby floating over asphault like a hovercraft.” “Yellow Tape” somehow creates an even more appealing atmosphere, throwing a little bongo in the mix and having the Too-Short-sounding Krondon go 2002 on the hook.
The head single and fan favorite, “Slash Gordon,” brings in a charged dose of Kung-Fu funk and the most lively lyricism on the entire album: “On my momma, I’ve always been a rap vandal/smack a wack nigga to death with an axe handle.” If any song can properly employ classic rock riffage and Chinese xylophone into a rap track, it would be this one.
Outside of those three tracks, the album stays rather uniform in its sound, which thankfully never becomes stale, but the rhymes could use a little bit of pep here and there. Referring back to the hastily made ride metaphor, this album certainly does give listeners something smooth to vibe to, but there’s nothing truly impacting rhyme-wise to justify tuning in for lyrics. Strictly speaking, its not a bad thing, but fans of both these artists have seen them at their best and expect a certain level of tact, and it would have been nice to seem them give more effort even into the Ghetto Queens they court on “Reina Del Barrio.”
All in all, This Generation may speak more about late 70s, early 80s babies more than any other, but it can mesh with any scene based on the compelling production alone. Bust that tape deck wide open, pop it in, and cruise around to this Zapp-and-Roger homage of an album.