Friday, May 05, 2006

Review: Potluck - Harvest Time

Artist: Potluck
Album: Harvest Time
Year: 2004
Label: Lost Koast Productions

From the Californian dank capital, Humboltdt County, comes this hip hop duo made up of UnderRated and 1Ton, in case you were wondering UnderRated is the white guy. As you can tell by the album title, the cover and groups name these guys are keen to represent their city's finest product. "Harvest Time" came out in 2004 on Lost Koast Productions and it is 22 tracks long.

First track is titled 'Intro', it's just a really short track, and although it doesn't go for long it says alot about the duo's mentality. They let the listener know that they're not lacking originality, they represent what they live and that they listen to all forms of hip hop - three things you have to respect. Once you hear the intro you can pretty much get a feel of what you are in for, my first impression was that they sound like a cross between Indiana's MaddWest and southern hip hop group the Cunninlynguists.

First proper track on the album is 'Fight Night', pretty much just some battle raps showing off their skills, it has a mad uptempo beat and a decent hook as well. I love their concept where UnderRated and 1Ton alternate verses as if they were having a boxing fight, with each verse representing each round. I love UnderRated's diss to people who think they are a rapper because of watching '8 Mile'. Next up is a weed track called 'Inhale/Exhale', the pace of the album goes down a notch with this track, as is often the case with smoking tracks, it's not a bad track but not up there with my favourites.

'Budget' is a track that can be summed up by the opening line, "I'm sick of living on a budget", the track is about aiming to gain recognition in the music industry. This is followed by 'Say What You Wanna' which features the Kansas City king, Tech N9ne. The track starts off with a lingering beat that increases the listeners anticipation, the hook starts and then all of a sudden UnderRated busts into the track with a fast barrage of rhymes, 1Ton raps his verse and then Tecca Nina spits a supersonic verse as only he and a few other rappers are able to do, then UnderRated drops another verse before the track ends. All three emcees hold their own making this track an album highlight.

'Let Loose' is another uptempo track with both Potluck emcees coming through with some mad raps. The hook on this track reminds me of something you'd hear on a Ca$hroll Criminalz track. 'Freedom' is a slower track with alot of meaning, UnderRated's verse addresses the issue or racism. To quote him directly, "It's not white or black or black or white, it's what I speak it's what I write // It's who I am do you understand?, color makes no difference man". This is a more thoughtful track than those before it, the only thing that lets it down is the hook, which isn't shit but could of been better.

Eighth track on the album is 'Stand Up', it is a rock/rap sort of track similar to how Sir Mix A Lot's proteje Outtasite sounds. Not liking the hook at all but other than that it is a cool track. UnderRated disses Americas current and former president in the track, saying that "Bush is a crack head and Clinton smoked weed, but don't do drugs is what they stressin' on the TV". Next on the album is 'Real Phone Calls', it is a needless skit that ruins the flow of the album.

E-40 and Bosko feature on 'You Aint That Fine', a track about ugly bitches, this track is a whole lot like Maddwest's 'Your Friend Is Ugly'. 'Do It Now' is a quality track, it's followed by 'Sports Junkies' featuring Equipto from Bored Stiff. The whole track is about their love of all forms of sports, with the breaks during the track filled with commentary from different sporting events. Next is "Hip Hop" featuring Living Legends and is about their love of the music and what it means to them. Another weed track, 'Smokin On A Blunt' comes next, as mentioned in the intro, this duo rap about what they live...

'U Don't Even Know Me' and 'The Way It Goes' are both solid tracks however the later has a hook that pisses me off. The skit called 'Live in Colorado' is followed by 'Rap Life' featuring Cool Nutz. It is about the trials and tribulations of being involved in the rap game, Potluck make it clear that they are in the game for the love of the art and not for the money. 'Lovin U' and 'Just Like U' are a couple more good tracks, however I have to say the hook for the 'Just Like U' leaves alot of room for improvement.

'What Am I' is a slower track that allows 1Ton and UnderRated to remenisce about where they came from and what they are trying to accomplish. Both rappers make excellent points and their reasoning to back up their thoughts make for an interesting track. The message driven home in this track is that color should be no boundary, a Jew and an African American have come together to make sick hip hop, thats all that really matters. Staying true to the duo's image and the city they represent, the final track on this album is 'First Kiss', you can guess what it's about...

To close out this review I'll just say that if you're into the new West Coast sound and love up tempo production and fast paced rhymes then I reckon you'll enjoy this album. Both UnderRated and 1Ton compliment each other well and aside from a few suspect hooks this album is hard to fault.

Potluck ft Tech N9ne - Say What Ya Wanna
Potluck - What Am I

Rating: 3 and a Half Daytons out of 5

No comments: