Here are two things any American should know about Australian hip-hop: their beatmakers rival anything we've got going on in the States, and the MCs heavy Aussie accents take some getting used to. One of the biggest strengths that Australian rappers have over other non-U.S. rappers is that in general they don't ape American rap styles or themes. Australian rappers have done a convincing job of localizing hip-hop, rather than trying to sound like American MCs with Aussie accents.
Most of the Australian hip-hop I've come into contact with is more along the lines of true school or indie rather than street or gangsta, and G Force is no exception. He's not rapping about popping bottles or pushing weight. Instead, he raps about the struggles and bullshit in the world, and hip-hop's role as an escape valve. On the title track he raps, "not a friend in sight/except a pen and a mic/strike two got me thinking about what the fuck to do." "Drop the Beat" details the trials of a young MC with Vida Sunshyne singing the hook. "Fed Up (Government Funk)" takes on politicians for not doing enough to help the ailing economy over a slow, funky beat.
Xcise and Dutch provide the beats on the album, working mostly with samples and loops. They start off with the boisterous, rocking "Stop, Drop, Roll," but are equally convincing on slower tracks like the somber "Clouded" or the mellow, feel-good vibe on "Movin' Up." "Take It Back" uses a guitar loop on the verse, and builds up to a crescendo of strings and bells on the chorus, perfectly fitting the nostalgic lyrics. The chopped up soul on "For You" could have come from an undergound East Coast producer, along with the dusty grooves of "Game of Life." Xcise and Dutch may be from Down Under, but it sounds like they've done some crate digging on American soil.
G Force offers some impressive word play and thoughtful lyrics. He's at his best on more uptempo numbers like "Take It Back," where his rapping is energized by the beat. On slower tracks, his steady, unwavering flow can sound monotonous, especially since he is the dominant voice on every track on the album. I found myself wishing he would mix it up more, adding some different styles or doing something to create more variety in his delivery. As it stands, G Force has produced a solid album, and one fans of Aussie hip-hop should check out.
Music Vibes: 7.5 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 7 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 7 of 10
Originally posted: April 21, 2009