Subtitle and Anonymous were going to come out with this three years ago, but they werent able to until 2002. The quality of the recording itself makes it feel like back when we would trade cherished recordings on cassette, making sure we'd all get a chance to hear it. "Backpackers" is one of those tracks, which got a lot of circulation due to the subject of the lyrics. Rather than directly make stereotypes of what a backpacker is, it takes the word as something of pride and states that a backpacker is just another name to place on someone who loves their hip-hop.
Subtitle handles productions and beats on half of the songs, and he works his wizardry behind the board in "Center Court", which discusses his Los Angeles roots. The beats are spare and roomy with a light keyboard melody underneath, and with his voice touched up with echo, his performance comes off dark while the lyrics suggest something quite opposite. Complete darkness is what "L.A. Story" is about, where he talks the ugliness of Los Angeles by talking about the hazards on every corner, but for him there is nothing better.
Anonymous has some pretty impressive things going on in the production department. "Better Living Through Technology" and "Antihistamine" has him combining various different elements to the overall sound, helping Subtitle get his lyrics across much better than it would in other less-capable hands. The rest of the album has the feel of finished demos, but that's one of many things that makes this CD worthy of many listens.
Music Vibes: 7 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 7 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 7 of 10
Originally posted: March 8, 2002