San Diego jam band Slightly Stoopid might seem an odd choice for us to review, but even the so-called free encyclopedia says on their Guru before his passing. It would not be that far of a stretch for the Stoopid dudes to reach out to hip-hop, since their sound already embraces reggae, funk, blues and punk among oher genres. They’ve even been called “psychedelic rock” by some observers – they’re fairly hard to pin to just one sound.
Take “Don’t Stop” for example – if you didn’t know anything about their history and heard this song as a one-off, you might assume that Slightly Stoopid were either from Jamaica or hang out with a whole lotta rastas. Less than four minutes later they’re funking it up on the “Devil’s Door,” a song that could be the soundtrack to any 1970’s movie or TV show. And yet just when you think you’ve got them pegged, the grooves of “Way You Move” will make you think of a 1990’s alternative or rock act like Blind Melon or Blues Traveler. If you had to pick an overriding theme for the group though it would definitely be Carribean, and their collaboration with Barrington Levy on the song “Ur Love” certainly seems to back that up.
Although their newfound infatuation with hip-hop has been professed by them and others, only two specific rap collaborations can be found on “Top of the World” – famed Jurassic 5 emcee Chali 2na on “Just Thinking” and the outside the box stylings of G. Love on “Hiphopppablues” – what he’s doing here certainly isn’t a rap. Any rap fan who appreciates a reggae sound and stylee will be down with songs like “Marijuana” though featuring Don Carlos, and on the whole “Top of the World” excuse a real cool and irie feeling. There’s nothing too heavy from this group – they just jam out and ask you to come along for the ride. So although Slightly Stoopid may not be the typical “rap review” for us, it’s an album I can easily recommend.