Hey, good news friend. You know how you’ve been saying that it would make your summer if some Southern Ontario-based, veteran Canadian hip-hop crew would release an album that would bring to mind the skill & fun of The Alkaholiks in their prime? Well it’s here. The Lost, from Toolshed, is that album. And we’re not talking any “Tha Liks” nonsense either, we’re talking full-on ’93, I’ll-stick-you-in-the-dick-with-a-toothpick-style Alkaholiks.
The Lost is the fifth album from the London, Ontario-birthed, three-headed hip hop monster known as Toolshed, and it doesn’t put a foot wrong from start to finish. Originally intended as the follow-up to 2006′s Relapse, the material recorded for this album was revamped by the ‘sheds own Timbuktu, and was recently released by Toronto’s Hand’Solo records. Could have fooled me, without one or two shout outs to ’06 on the album, and well, actually being told, the freshness of the album’s sound would have had me assuming it was recorded recently.
A lot of the credit for that freshness must go to group themsevles, as Psybo, Chokeules and Timbuktu are all skillfull MC’s that possess energetic, punch-line filled flows that would sound good in any era. But also, it seems they’ve re-worked anything that might’ve sounded dated, like the amazing “Club Suck (redux)”, which was modernized so Timbuk could tell Lady Gaga to kiss his ass. Redux or not, it is has to be one of the funniest & on-point take downs of modern club culture I’ve heard in ages.
It also helps that the ‘shed sound as if they are actually having fun making their music, like with each verse they’re trying to either make the other guys laugh or top the previous guy’s verse. It’s refreshing actually, and the friends they invite to appear on the album (More or Les, Wordburglar and Savilion appear on “Round Table”, Ghettosocks on “Hit Em’ With His Running Shoes”) share that same spirit. The production on the album is also refreshing actually (most done by Timbuktu, with contributions from Fresh Kils, Muneshine, Savilion & Bix), as it is hip hop through and through, with plenty of hard hitting drums with good stuff like horns, synths and funky guitar riffs layered over them – there is nary a wanky electro/rap-house beat or goofy synth to be heard. Plus there’s plenty of scratches, from Middlesex Wrestling Team and Uncle Fester, and that is always welcome.
So here’s what you’re going to do now: go get The Lost. Seriously, you aren’t going to find a better album full of Golden-Age inspired party rap anytime soon – and I mean party rap in the most positive of ways, like “let’s get some beer, crank the Beatnuts, and get into some nonsense we’ll laugh about for years” type hip hop. If you want to try before you buy, “Irish Carbomb Part 2″ is available as a free download, but I think you’re gonna want the full dose. After all, in the words of the ‘shed:
“I love rap, if you don’t, then fuck that. My opinion is your opinion sucks ass.”