If rap ain’t pop, how do you explain Hype Williams? But instead of going on a tirade about cartoonish videos, idiotic rappers, and insipid lyrics, I’m going to tell those who don’t already know that this album will cure all those ills. Beans, Priest, M. Sayyid, and DJ E. Blaize are a collective sledgehammer to those cookie-cutter pretenders out there. This is hip-hop the way it was meant to be: pertinent, hard, and just damned good. It’s not as though the Consortium is really anti-pop; they’re simply beyond it. After all, this is not some Ornette Coleman free jazz that forgot the dancers on the floor. This is music with bounce. They just avoid all stereotype and make you conform to their beats (like the early days of Rza). “Ping Pong,” for example, creates a beat by bouncing that weird-ass ball. “Mega” is a thumping series of bleeps that’s everything from hard to annoying to cool with its “Bohemian Rhapsody” opera in between. You simply can’t sleep on this album because the fellas keep you strapped to the insanity chair with toothpicks prying your eyes open. You simply have to hear “Human Shield” and “We Kill Soap Scum” to get that uneasy, A Clockwork Orange feel. But don’t worry. If you’re too timid for such a mind-expanding adventure, they do have college-radio-friendly (like the two corporations that constitute commercial radio would ever touch them) tracks like “Bubblz” and “Silver Heat” to move you.
Warp Records: http://www.warprecords.com