MellowHype / BlackenedWhite / Fat Possum
Some things just gel together. Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. Riggs and Murtaugh. Even peanut butter and jelly, which duo MellowHype reference on the mesmerizing cut “Right Here”, a jam that throws a stoner-rap flow in a room with a glimpse of pre-2000s’ Neptunes production. Similar to the iconic sandwich condiments, there are different variations of MellowHype with BlackenedWhite doing a good job of showing them and thus in turn, exploring the talent swimming in the veins of Left Brain and Hodgy Beats. Odd Future is a collective, but the duo are an entirely different entity. Hodgy Beats is a lyrical scholar who isn’t afraid of running lines over an old-school mixtape beat (“Rico”) or being intimidating (“I put my gold teeth in a vulture’s mouth.. / I’m a wild animal bitch, I can’t be tamed”). Left Brain on the otherhand, finds excitement in plastering his hip hop influences over his hunger for stretching rap sounds, as “Circus”, “Brain” and “Primo” all have an original sting to them.
What spikes the sound of BlackenedWhite and makes it a disc worth keeping in the car stereo is how MellowHype use their age and thirst for creating to manufacture tracks that pop with individuality. Hodgy and Left aren’t stereotypical label rappers; they won’t be found trying to adapt to cardboard cutout “i’ma get high” beats. Everything is instead rooted from their imagination. Fresh, innovative, ruthless. At their age, there’s no one projecting blasts like “f*ck a cop non-stop” (“F666 The Police”) or rhyming about chasing diamonds and rubies and glass houses on the beach (“Loaded”) without sounding like a flashy MTV rapper who can’t survive without dropping their name after every breath. Just ask MellowHype, it’s rather difficult to find someone who works harder than they do. Eccentric yet staggering pieces of work such as “64” rip through your rhythms and justify just that.
Download: “64”, “Right Here”, “Brain”
[Actually like this album review? Find news updates and videos on Twitter]