Hyperbole is not in short supply for the Dallas duo A.Dd+, pronounced A-D-D with the plus silent, something their press release is not shy about pointing out. It's also not shy about calling "When Pigs Fly" a "highly acclaimed debut album" even though it's mighty difficult to be highly acclaimed BEFORE you've even debuted. A.Dd+ would no doubt counter that sentiment with the fact that they've been releasing free singles and videos leading up to this album, but it's a matter of conjecture as to how "highly acclaimed" any rap duo can be off free internet music - there's no shortage of that available and I don't hear A.Dd+ being "acclaimed" as much as Big K.R.I.T. or Odd Future. Let me just be blunt about it - other than the press releases for them we publish I haven't heard anybody saying anything about A.Dd+ at all. Not positive, not negative, not anything; just the whistling wind of internet apathy singing a solemn song of silence.
Alright we've picked on A.Dd+ enough. The truth is that if you throw all of hyperbole out of the window, they actually DO deserve some praise when one listens to "When Pigs Fly" objectively. There's no question that 99 out of 100 people have no idea who Slim Gravy and Paris Pershun are, but that's certainly not for lack of talent or creativity. True acclaim will come to them in due time, once more people have been exposed to their music. Releasing an entire album for free gets you much greater exposure than the occasional free single gets, and at least as much if not more than the typical YouTube music video, so it's a step in the right direction. Their album's title is an indication of their attitude toward making music, particularly in a town that may be best known for Dorrough and Dr. Phil. I keed, I keed. There are plenty of known rappers in Dallas, though they do sometimes get overshadowed by Houston. A.Dd+ aren't living in anyone's shadows. They do their music, their way.
"We ain't leaving 'til the race here is won
Everything seems impossible until it's done
America's nightmare, black men who big dreamers
Anybody talkin dirty then we take you to the cleaners
We spit that hot damn fire you cain't extinguish
But you ain't understand it like your boy ain't speakin English
I done tried to be a nice guy; you hate me then it's likewise
I'm goin for your neck, knot noose, or a bowtie
Tied tight until the blood leak through your skin
You'll be lost in sin they call us A-D-D and you are Ritalin
We overdose on crazy pills so unless it's us
We can't tell who's real, yup that's just the way I feel"
"Brain Sex" lives up to the title. It's intellectually stimulating rap that still manages to deliver thrills through punchlines and braggadocious swagger. Producer Picnic Tyme (also known for working with Erykah Badu's own Dallas crew) strikes the right note between sassy and brassy musically on the cut to the degree it's honestly surprising that they'd give this away for free. Surprises are what A.Dd+ are all about, including the unexpected segue at the end of the syrupy "Likeamug" (featuring Sore Losers) that has an irate foreigner lecturing to the listener about the virtues of cleaning and vacuuming over an interpolation of the "Super Mario Land" theme music. No I'm not kidding, but A.Dd+ definitely got jokes. It's that humor that sets them apart and gives their rap more snap. Songs like the instrumental "I'm So Dallas" are both proud and a little bit tongue-in-cheek. They may have a song called "The Everyday" with a well worn Slick Rick sample, but you can rest assured they are anything BUT the same old everyday.
"I'm talkin 'bout this ghetto ass lifestyle
Yo' lights off and yo' ghetto ass iced out
I'm like how's your money tall like Yao?
I just got paid today, my money gone right now
And that's the everyday, we in the Chevrolet
No gas, no cash, 'bout to regulate"
With a penchant for saying what other Southern rappers either don't or won't, AD.d+ definitely stand out in a crowd on "When Pigs Fly," and prove themselves worthy of hyperbole after the fact even if their press release was a bit early on bestowing them acclaim. Free albums come and free albums go but the aforementioned presser actually mentions a limited edition physical pressing of the album you can pick up to show the group support, and after listening to what they're willing to give away for nothing you might just be so inclined.
Music Vibes: 7.5 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 8 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 7.5 of 10
Originally posted: March 29th, 2011