The 87 Stick Up Kids - Car Keys & Rabbits Feet
Mainstream is so compartmentalized into niches, and hip-hop is no exception, to the point where gangsta, political and heavy groove jams never appear together in same artist's vision. Not so in the underground, where the original spirit of hip hop not only never died, but has enriched itself in ways that ought to give pause to those who never buy outside the top 20.
It is getting harder to call LA's The '87 Stick Up Kids underground, though. "Car Keys & Rabbit's Feet" has already produced some heavily spun videos, and their winning combo of smart lyrics, old school mixes and, a rarity these days, endearing boasting will only drop larger as the word gets out. May this record also send the light over to Mishka NYC, a small label constantly able to find killer sounds that expand the game while paying homage to history.
"Lights, Camera" starts things off with stoopid grooves and silly but clever words that echo the year mentioned in their name. similarly, "Breaker Breaker" and "Money" borrow as liberally from "Paul's Boutique" as "Hair of the Dog" does early BDP. But all is not riffing on foundations, however. The minimal, celebratory "Home Team" is stunning in its humility and grace. "Chicken Strips (Make That Bubble Bounce)" is as good a nasty party track as anything Luther Campbell or Blowfly dreamed up. The closer is further proof of the group's risk-taking: the under two minute "Gangsters Rock Pajamas" blends techno with Paisley Park trippy-echo to give us a quick, almost tossed off little gem.
With help from several LA legends including Diz Gibran and Philly Ingenue, the four-man beast that is The '87 Stick Up Kids have dropped a record made for systems that threaten to crumble rear axles like they would eardrums back in the boombox days. "Car Keys & Rabbit's Feet" is a cool slab of funk that ranks with any hip-hip record, million-selling odes to rims and grills, and underground mix tape alike. This is one of those records that stop genre-haters in their tracks and may lead to some new converts. In many ways underground hip-hop is as rich as the hardcore underground of the ‘80s. check some out before the Bigs come sniffing, and start with The '87 Stick Up Kids.
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