There are a few things Billy Woods and Priviledge a/k/a the Super Chron Flight Brothers are familiar with - in no particular order they are video games, Saturday morning cartoons, hip-hop rhymes, super-sized helpings of marijuana (whether bong, blunt or joint) and pop culture TV shows. Their 2007 hip-hop debut "Emergency Powers" only hinted at the blunted adventures to follow. What could have been a sugar puff packed bowl of crunchy green goodness was according to RR contributor Arthur Gailes held back more by the beats than the rhymes. "The production is spare, metallic. Most of it is very good, very dark, and definitely unique. It's not quite bass-first, but it almost uniformly lends itself to big, booming speakers. As a quiet listen, it is much more underwhelming, even somewhat boring."
It seems that S.C.F.B. took those words to heart on their sophomore album "Cape Verde." The album's title still references their love of all things green and their cover art still shows their desire to get down with the plumbing paisanos of 8-bit lore that inspired their name. The production is the biggest change here - it's funky, soulful, funny and rollicking. "Travailer" swings over a big R&B loop and the emcees let their collective TV junkie love show through: "SportsCenter, The Zoo, Becker, My Wife & Kids, fuck it, The View/Top Police Chases, The First 48, HBO On Demand, take a blunt break." You'd think 9th Wonder took over their studio on "Double Jeapordy," complete with a horny horn brass backdrop and wailing 1970's soul samples, and "No Spin Zone" is caught somewhere between the A-Team theme and the MacGyver one (I'll lean toward the latter). It also shows off more of their obsession with the boob tube:
"Now would you rather be the only person in a classroom
with Brit Hume while he spits opinions on the day's issues
or look, a reporter in El Paso, Texas
with Lou Dobbs in a cowboy hat, shootin at Mexicans?
My bad - that's a dumb question
Everybody hates Lou Dobbs, maybe Shepherd Smith
Or Chris Matthews, whoever you like
How 'bout with Tim Russert, in a bike shop, buying tights
Before you guys embark on a 12 mile ride
to Wolf Blitzer's cave, where he prepares to dine
on the souls of the villagers he caught last night
I had to excuse myself before taking a bite"
You might think that the Super Chron Flight Brothers don't take anything seriously at this point, and song titles like "Strangers With Candy" and "Rap City" may just convince you that watching television and getting high is ALL they do. Hidden between the Yosemite Sam and Vince Offer informercial samples are some gems though. Guest stars like Bigg Jus on "Emmanuel Goldstein" and Vordul Mega on "Unsolved Mysteries" tone down their cartoonish adventures and give them a harder edged hip-hop feel familiar to fans of Jedi Mind Tricks and Non Phixion. "100 Ft. of Cold Dirt" may be their crowning achievement though, as it really gives one the feeling of being deep deep underground listening to the Flight Brothers bounce their lyrics off stalagmites and stalactites.
"When you hear this, it bite your ears like I'm Mike Tyson
Ain't no Buster... Douglas, we dustin
off our shoulders, like we was Hova
Passion like the Christ is, crown of thorns priceless
We body and the blood of, heathens they love us
Cause we artists like them but we don't give a fuck, uh
Oh yes Lord a, digital horror
Like video, we killed the radio star-ah
Catch me when I'm live, love, death to 'em all, the
holy rollers mad cause I'm walking on water"
To say that the Super Chron Flight Brothers hit a home run every time up to bat on a packed 20 song release would be a mistake, but even if you don't puff as much herb as it appears they do "Cape Verde" is still a lot of fun to listen to. For some listeners it may be too busy, too noisy, too high on pop culture and too cartoonish to get into. For others it will be a lyrically enjoyable ride with more highs than lows.
Music Vibes: 7 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 7.5 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 7 of 10
Originally posted: September 21, 2010