Props:/prɒps/: n:Props is short for “propers” as in, “proper respect or proper recognition.
Welcome to the first edition of Props. The section where we look at past albums, EPs, Singles, Films or anything Hip-Hop related that y’all may have slept on, forgotten or haven’t a clue about. Without much time wasting let’s give due props to Philly based emcee/producer/multi instrumentalist Lushlife.
Lushlife: Cassette City
Featuring: Ariel Pink; Camp Lo (Sonny Cheeba + Geechi Suede); Elzhi (formerly of Slum Village); Fakevinyl; Greg Saunier (ofDeerhoof)
Producers: Big Germ; Fakevinyl; Levitatorz; Lushlife
The year was 2009, I was neck deep in getting my degree and way too invested in making and collecting music from anywhere and everywhere. I didn’t really give this a once over at the time, I just loved the retro artwork and the fact that Camp Lo were featured on the project piqued my interest so yeah Lushlife got me with that one. On the flip side though, I must say “Cassette City” blew my mind after the first listen. The album had just the right amount of “dopeness” for the length of time giving that he had numerous short songs split between the 13 tracks.
As an artist I think Lush Life put his best foot forward on his debut Lp, “Cassette City“. He may not have pushed mad numbers but he definitely crafted something I can sonically call perfect on this 13 track project. Besides being an MC(of superior quality) he also handles the bulk of the production on this project (Big Germ, Fake Vinyl and Levitatorz contributed 1 track each). From what I read he is a multi instrumentalist and is quite proficient with live instruments but the way he flipped the script on Cassette City is commendable and is just plain dope.
Sonically “Cassette City” is a blend of Boom bap, alternative soft rock and it’s pretty much experimental to some degree. It’s cohesive and not jarring in any way or form. As much as the sounds can be off kilter, he still keeps things simple with the arrangements and structure of songs. It’s pretty genius when you can hear The boombap-esque “Kindness” next to the soft rock ish “Until The Sun dies” and still appreciate the summery vibes of “The Songbird Athletic“and the alternative finale “Meridian Sound(Part Three)” all in the same breath without losing the plot.
Just as a reminder, this is not exactly a review but rather a look back on hiphop projects y’all may have missed that deserve enough props. Lush Life has gone to release a straight to tape project “No More Golden Days” and a second lp “Plateau Vision” and just released his 3rd Lp “Ritualize” with Philly production trio CSLSX.