Love and peace never sold records like guns and drugs, but politics never got in the way of the Native Tongues posse making exceptional music. It’s widely accepted that De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest were just as influential as Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg were, even if it could never be proved through sales. The times of Afrocentricity and the D.A.I.S.Y. era are sadly missed, but mysteriously, only a small number of acts have looked to bring them back, or even relive them a little.
The Deviants Of Reality are hyped as the next generation of this lost movement, and certainly pride themselves as carriers of old tradition. It’s true that the Tribe influence practically bleeds through “Love, Sex and Situation:” the production is similar, the skits are actually pretty inventive and serve something of a purpose, and after all, it is about love and sex. But even in trying to be Tip and Phife, DJ Alex J and Udig the Mental hardly draw a comparison. As much as they’d liked to have recreated “Electric Relaxation” seventeen times over or wow us with mature narratives, they instead spit some of the more laughably simple rhymes of the late year.
I hate posting lyrics, but I was almost tempted to just use a collection of the Deviants’ writtens as my official review. I can’t quite get away with that, but I can hit you off with some choice lines:
“You can die chokin,’ really I ain’t jokin’
drink on occasion, think porn’s amazin’
I was born shaven…” – “Mystikal”
“But now as I’m older, the world’s gettin’ colder
summertime’s here, can I please have a soda?” – “Summertime”
“What you wanna battle? Herd you like some cattle…” – “So Special”
“Rest in peace Jam Master Jay
I hope to see you at the pearly gates on judgement day
Hopefully that time for me is far away
I have no plans to visit that gate today” – “Get Up”
“Stand back now, let me look
Let me check your recipe before I cook” – “Sex Music”
“He told me that he wanted to make a CD
be a big star like Patrick Swayze” – “The Power of Words”
It’s bad, but the choruses, which all seem to incorporate something along the lines of “get up,” “throw your hands in the air,” “it’s goin’ down,” or “check it out now,” are even worse.
And while the rhymes are more 5th grade than Lil’ Romeo, the beats do hold together, even if the best of them sound like something Ali Shaheed threw together after waking from a coma. The same synth organ that was prominent throughout “Midnight Marauders” is prominent in “Love, Sex and Situation,” and yes, it sounds extremely forced. There are some decent samples used, but many sound awkward with their respective rhythms. And without an ounce of shame, “The Power of Words” is as close to a straight jack of Gang Starr’s “Betrayal” without just taking the instrumental.
It isn’t like there’s a plethora of positivity in “Love, Sex and Situation;” the whole thing is about love and love-making; but of all the assholes dicking around underground, DJ Alex J and Udig are two of the last dudes worth disrespecting. The Deviants themselves don’t deserve my ruthless banter, but if their rhymes were arthropods, I would do all I could to shatter each limb into thousands of tiny chunks. Now back to “3 Feet High and Rising.”