Forget Buckaroo Bonzai, these guys are about going further to the 40th Dimension. With Philadelphia as their source of inspiration, Scandal and Happ G. are continuing with the musical power that has come from the city in the last ten years. "The Crop Report" will please those who are hungry for tight lyrics and rhymes, as this 16-track album (no interludes!) is packed with a lot of them. The content within ease verse show us it is possible to combine complex lyricism with accessibility. In other words, it's good enough for the underground but it's also ready for the masses.
They introduce themselves by telling you to "take your ass to ABC and try to Make The Band"(from "Let's Get It On"), letting you know immediately if you're not intelligent enough to get with them, go away. One of the great things about these guys is while it takes some groups a full verse to make their point, they are doing it every two lines, especially in the very clever "Too Many Movies". Along with the cinematic references, they also offer up one of my favorite lines: "I'm the unbreakable misfit, with a 6th Sense to spit tense/ And burn mics like incense and folk fest tents."
Non-believers only have to go to "I Don't Care" to hear why 40th Dimension are not in this just to have fun. The production mixes sampled strings with programmed beats and a funky bass. Then they offer a verse that tells listeners if you dare approach them unprepared, then prepare to be put down fast:
"Exhaling rhymes not like carbon dioxide
Splitting brains with verses that burn like peroxide
On open gashes, you can't hang like broken glasses
Kicking the dopest fashions in your muggs like the Soul Assassin
You know it's lastin' though the style is so contrastin'
Some shit ain't fair like when I had my window bashed in
and they broke my dash in
Three times it happened, but they say shit comes in
3's like Times Dope, My fuckin' rhymes float
Like a Summer Breeze, and some MC's
Got it locked, I got respect for 'em
But some MC's is locked up for having a Tek on
And some run the streets from sundown to the next mornin'
And they got fam somewhere, they scared to death for 'em
I'm like the ref warning you for the low blow
If you don't care, then I don't care nigga, I movin' solo"
While this type of intensity could easily fade as the album goes on, they hold it up firmly right until the end. Their flows are as modern as some of the top MC's today, and regardless of their age there is still an old school mentality that shows they've been doing their homework. They invite some friends to drop rhymes and some of them, especially Greedy Gretch and Jake Lefco, are going to be dangerous if they continue as they do on this album. The group use a small group of different producers, but Happ G. shows he has as much precision behind the boards as he does behind the mic.
There's a line on "The Crop Report" that says "this is illadelph, every single flow is tight". To be able to represent your own city, and to have balls to say that you are a representative, takes guts. To be able to accomplish this is a gift. This is just one more side of the talent that continues to come from Philadelphia, and 40th Dimension have a gift that is difficult to pass up.
Music Vibes: 8 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 9 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 8.5 of 10
Originally posted: March 15, 2002