The photo attached to this review is the back of the mailing envelope that The Green Brothers sent me their CD and press kit in. It’s not every day that you see someone something like this – they’ve hand drawn their name out in graff style ink and colored in the highlights with yellow. This is NOT their official logo, as it’s found nowhere in the press kit materials inside or anywhere on their official “I Get Lifted” CD. As much as it gave me a nostalgic smile for the early 90’s when my French tape trading buddy used to ink the cassettes he sent me the same way, it actually made me raise an eyebrow and wonder if they had spent more time catching my attention than crafting a quality album.
Happily I can report that’s not the case. Now let’s be perfectly clear about The Green Brothers – the only thing that artwork was missing was a classic five or seven leaf marijuana logo. I wouldn’t have been surprised to learn they were from Humboldt County, although their bio says they relocated from Columbus, Ohio to San Diego, Ca. They’re unabashedly proud of their smoker tendencies, and when listening to “I Get Lifted” you can picture them marching lock in step with Cypress Hill and the Kottonmouth Kings carrying a “4:20 Or Bust” banner to the state capitol. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that they’re proud of being mentioned favorably in High Times magazine. Do you smell what The Green Brothers are smokin’? If not then you probably haven’t been to a Devin the Dude concert lately. If you’re even mildly pro-pot then you’d almost certainly have to light one up and “Get Lifted” yourself while listening to this CD. Every song mentions smoking at some point.
With that out of the way the praise that The Green Brothers have earned to date isn’t unwarranted. These aren’t lazy potsmokers stringing together bad jokes about brownies and Cheetos over boring beats – these cats have their hip-hop shit down. It would be fair to say they are to chronic what Tha Alkaholiks were to beer – it was their favorite recreational substance but still secondary to their love of hip-hop. “Jazzy Kinda Style” has a brassy horn backdrop melded with tinkling ivories in an enjoyably breezy way. “Too Funky” lives up to the billing as well, as you can imagine them getting smoked out with rock and soul artists from the 60’s and 70’s. And when The Green Brothers “Give Thanks” they do mention the joys of pot, but they also want to sincerely thank those enjoying the musical high:
“If I could say thank you, in every language spoken
It would only be a token of my true appreciation
I’m hopin to get you open with this humble presentation
If a piece of my puzzle, can improve your situation we
turned a new leaf, we rewrote the formula
Spread our belief from Bus Town to California
We reworked the part, goin back to the start
Ripped open our chest to play the strings of our heart
The, magnus remains but the focus is ferocious
As I’m watching the field for the first sign of locusts
That lotus, that we noticed in the distance
is oh so closer now due to hard work and persistance
So I, give thanks, for all your contributions
Cause not being a problem doesn’t mean you’re a solution”
There’s a surprisingly intellectual side to these smoked out boys – they may enjoy the buds but it’s not one long blissed out party. They truly seem to have focused on cannabis for it’s mind-expanding and mind-opening qualities, and it’s allowed them to tap into their artistic potential. On some tracks the theme is self-servingly obvious, such as the title track of “I Get Lifted,” but on other songs like “With All Due Respect” they are out to make it clear their craft and their generation both deserve to be taken seriously. The thing “What I write represents, my right to dissent” – that might be the most serious political sentiment I’ve seen on any proud bud smoker’s album in a while. By combining quality beats with better than average buddha blissed rhymes, The Green Brothers have made a convert today. At only 39 minutes long it’s hard to tell if “I Get Lifted” is the pinnacle of their prowess or just a step along the way to greater things, but they’re off to a good start.