Thursday, August 13, 2009
G&E: A Hidden Gem...For Me
I first downloaded this new album from Cali's The Grouch & Eligh titled 'Say G&E!' after seeing Slug (of Atmosphere) was featured on a song. That alone said to me it's worth a listen. A closer look at the tracklist with features from Gift of Gab, Pigeon John, and Blu, and I was sold (ignoring the Mistah F.A.B. appearance).
I'm familiar with G&E, but I wouldn't consider myself a fan of either necessarily. I like the Living Legends crew work (of which they are members) for the most part - probably like many outside of the left coast, I first heard of them after getting into MURS. I also knew that The Grouch produced the first Felt album, the nearly three-deep collaborative effort between MURS and Slug which uses a different producer to contribute all of the music each time out - I personally think that 'Felt 2' produced by Atmosphere's Ant is much better. But, the twosome's solo efforts (of which there are A LOT) and side group projects haven't really grabbed me in the past.
Maybe they just don't have a sound that intrigues me, or lyrics strong enough to compensate. Or, maybe I just haven't been paying enough attention. To be honest, the first listen I gave this album was not without it's distractions and interruptions. I heard it once, and I guess because it didn't find it's way through my mind's static at the time I thought it was just average at best and moved on to something else. Never giving it another thought.
A few weeks ago though, a video post for "Boom", the Slug featured track, was posted. I gave it a look, thought it was cool. Not my favorite song, but I like Slug's flow a lot. I scrolled down to the c-section and saw one post that claimed that this was the worst track on the whole album. Oh, and that the album was their favorite of the year. Although I thought that claim of greatness was definitely a stretch, I thought there may be something I missed the first time around, so I pulled it back out and took it to the lab a second time.
Needless to say since I'm writing this post, I'd like to change my answer please. I was thoroughly impressed this time around. The album is full of orginal music backdrops to accompany the equally good lyrics in most cases. The guest verses fit in well with the duo, but never overshadow what they themselves bring to the table. The potent lyricism from Grouch & Eligh is never more prominent, however, than on the extremely bold and brave "River Runs Dry". I don't think I've ever heard a hip hop track about respecting the environment, and I have to applaud these two for having the balls to step up to the plate and do it - and do it well.
I'm really glad that I chose to give this album another chance. Proof that sometimes it's good to talk and listen to other heads out there on the internet. You may get educated on some good music that was right under your nose. 'Say G&E!' is on its way to becoming one of my favorite albums of the year. And now that I've realized it, I'll be making the purchase of an official copy as soon as possible. I'll also be on the lookout to support them live on the off chance that they do a show in Cincinnati some time soon.