With their release of "Harvest Time," Humboldt County, Calif. duo Potluck is coming out at a crucial time for the West Coast. Amidst the region's reemergence through new releases from mainstays Snoop Dogg and Xzibit, and newcomers Guerilla Black and The Game, 1 Ton and UnderRated—who are African-American and Jewish, respectively—show that they can survive with a style all their own.
For the majority of "Harvest Time," Potluck doesn't come across as a pair of true MCs, but rather as members of the everyday crew who rhymed and decided to make an album. Equipped with thumping, funky production (almost entirely handled by group member UnderRated) that should appeal to their West Coast neighbors, they spit with a unassuming charm that can draw in listeners.
Tracks such as "Inhale/Exhale" and "Smokin on a Blunt" chronicle the members' love of weed, while "Budget" lets them gripe about money problems. The soulful "Freedom" combines personal experiences with political commentary, and "Sports Junkies" is an ode to everything from background games to big league favorites. On the hilarious "You Ain't That Fine," Potluck teams up with E-40 to call out snobby club honies. Still, Potluck's members can drop one-liners as well, as "Say What Ya Wanna" and "Fight Night" showcase their battle-ready lyricism.
Though the album is a bit long at 22 tracks (including two skits), even the album's filler is bearable, with none of the beats falling too far below average and Potluck's charisma making up for the lost ground. While "Harvest Time" isn't full of trendsetting hip-hop, it is still an immensely enjoyable album that should expound on the name that Potluck has already made for themselves.
Music Vibes: 7.5 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 7.5 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 7.5 of 10
Originally posted: November 30, 2004