Unless I’m mistaken, yesterday was the first day of summer, and, you’re never going to believe this, I think I’ve got the perfect summer record for you. I know, I know, recommendations for summer jams are a dime a dozen from blogger types, but Business As Usual from Halifax’s Something Good is packed with enough energetic, true-school jams to keep you hotstepping through the summer like it was your personal Ini Kamoze.
When I reviewed Something Good’s last album, 2009’s Just Add Water (they also released a remix EP last year), they were more of a traditional hip hop group setup (2 MC’s, DJ, producer) but it sounded like they were in the process of morphing into a live-band setup. I was a huge fan of SG’s debut, so I was curious/concerned (it’s come a long way, but the phrase “live-band hip hop” will always make me nervous) to hear their new sound.
As per usual, I need not have worried, right out of the gate with Recollections the large ensemble (in addition to the 2 MC’s & 1 DJ, they have 4 musicians as part of their live act) shows they’re all committed to keeping that throwback essence in their music. Having DJ Y-Rush’s quick & capable hands cutting and slicing through the record is a welcome component, and despite their somewhat differing styles, Boy-ill and Markit trade verses effortlessly over the album’s addictive production. Not sure if it’s the band’s influence or what, but SG seems to also be experimenting with different sounds this time out, with blues (The Blues) and Caribbean (Business As Usual) sounds finding their way into the mix.
That said, if you’re gonna name your record after one of the most iconic Golden Age Albums going, you better have the straight hip hop heaters on your album, and SG delivers with tracks like What I Say, Provide The Boom, and the fast-rap goodness of Wet. So as I say, I’m fairly certain Business As Usual will have you bopping your way through the summer if you’ll give it the chance, but perhaps this live vid of them doing What You Gotta Do might do a better job convincing you.
Video:: Something Good – What You Gotta Do