Dilated Peoples: Directors Of Photography (Rhymesayers, 2014)

August 13, 2014 at 10:58 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Dilated Peoples: Directors Of Photography

Dilated Peoples: Directors Of Photography

I loved this group in high school, but I haven’t paid attention to them at all since their second album, which came out back in 2001. Since then, they’ve had a minor hit single with Kanye West in 2004, and released several independent solo albums. This is their first proper album as a group in 8 years, and their first independent album, since ending their major label contract. Musically, their sound hasn’t really changed since their earlier stuff, it’s simply a refinement of their style of underground hip-hop. The production is still heavily influenced by RZA and DJ Premier (who actually produces a track on here), and DJ Babu still constructs dense, clever sample collages. It’s actually somewhat refreshing to hear a new hip-hop album stay true to the culture of turntablism, even though it doesn’t seem like that long ago that it was so commonplace for hip-hop (underground or not). “Figure It Out (Melvin’s Theme)” comes somewhat close to a chopped-n-screwed sound, with a slow tempo and pitched-down chorus vocals, but there’s still some lightning-quick scratching, almost an entire verse’s worth actually. Now-mainstream pan-genre neo-soul crooner Aloe Blacc provides a chorus on “Show Me The Way”, sort of coming full circle, as he started out doing underground hip-hop and released albums on Stones Throw before crossing over. Nothing here sticks in my head as much as “Triple Optics” and “Work The Angles” did, but it’s still a solid album.

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