Sunday, December 9, 2012

Honorable Mention: Quakers - Quakers

Hip hop records headlined by producers rather than rappers tend to sound more like compilations than coherent albums.  With a few dozen different rappers, there usually isn’t enough consistency to make it sound like anything more than a collection of tracks.  With 41 tracks in 70 minutes and over 30 guest rappers, the debut album by Quakers (Portishead’s Geoff Barrow, Katalyst, and 7-Stu-7) should sound be a mess, especially since three different beatmakers contribute equally to the project. Thankfully Stones Throw let Quakers go ahead and throw every good beat and every emcee that they found online at the wall and see what stuck; luckily, most of it does. All three members manage to create a unified sound with beats that, as their name implies, knock so hard that they could cause earthquakes.  The emcees range from some of their Stones Throw labelmates (Guilty Simpson, MED, Jonwayne), to New York veterans (Dead Prez, Prince Po, Steele from Smif-n-Wessun), to basically unknown Myspace rappers (Synatto Watts, and the weird and impressive Coin Locker Kid, who appears more than any other guest), but the verses rarely deviate from the high level of quality that the beats set out.  The 70 minute run time flies by, and any tracks that you don't like as much are quickly forgotten among the onslaught of songs.

Quakers - "Fitta Happier" (feat. Guilty Simpson & MED)

Quakers - "Smoke" (feat. Jonwayne)

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