Potluck are a decade of decadence deep in sticky icky icky raps. Initially they had to roll (their blunts) independent as fuck on albums like “Humboldt County High,” but over time their consistently growing fanbase and reputation from touring with other like-minded rap acts led to them inking a deal with Suburban Noize Records. 1 Ton and Underrated have happily rolled (their blunts) with the Kottonmouth Kings and friends ever since 2006, warmly embraced by an eclectic crew of rip-rockers, stoners and old school hip-hop artists who were reborn as part of the labels’ growing roster. Though they’ve changed labels and affiliations throughout the years, they’ve never changed one thing – their abiding and unbridled passion for cannabis. “Rhymes and Resin” stays true to those sentiments with songs like the smoker anthem “Light That Shit Up”:

“I find a pound in my house like you find change in your couch
I’m from the place you dream about that never been without or seen a drought
We be about the best weed you ever seen in your life
We only smoke the best green that will be in a pipe
I’m from Cali California, dank alumni
The motto’s real simple – we don’t get high, we stay high
I won’t expect everyone to understand
Just as long as everyone respects that I don’t give a damn (I don’t!)
My top shelf is too high for Shaquille O’Neal
Look at me I got the munchies, never miss a meal
I’m smokin hundred dollar blunts of that redwood kush
I’m not a +Saint+ so I don’t be smokin Reggie Bush
Get baked in every state so let me set the record straight
Still the bestest in my state, and there’s no debate
You got the BOMB? Then make plans to meet us
I get so high I can shake hands with Jesus”

Despite their stoner tendencies, the duo do show an occasional penchant for booze as well with songs like “Last Call 4 Alcohol” featuring Bosko. Speaking of “featuring,” the Potluck bros can roll their joints without much outside help, so the majority of “Rhymes and Resin” is free of any impurities that would cut the high. On rare occasions though when they do add some extra herbs to the blunt, the medically enhanced mood changes completely. “Microphone Killa” with Ill Bill and Slaine turns from a happy-go-lucky West coast pot track to a dark, eerie and menacing La Coka Nostra style anthem of death. “Hands Up” featuring Mistah FAB and MURS shows off a more lyrical left coast style approach to hip-hop through weed, and Glasses Malone turns “Born to Be a Mic King” into a braggadocious affair where the Potluck kids are not just from the home of the best pot but the best hip-hop too – at least in their own blunted minds. The deep rolling bass might put you in that frame of mind too.

Therein lies a curious fact about Potluck, a group who by and large purposefully chose to appeal to a niche even more tightly focused than Cypress Hill, but could actually have a much greater mainstream reach if they weren’t known for their “Resin” first. Wipe off the sticky residue and you find storytelling songs like “My Movie” where they show that years of smoking AND inhaling haven’t impacted their ability to craft rhymes, even though the references show they’re probably closer to my age than much of their smoker audience:

“I’m +The Mack+, I’m +Dolemite+, I’m pimpin shit
The hero of this clique, I whup ass and fuck a bitch
You just watchin my movie eatin popcorn and licorice
I got more gold chains than Mr. T
And I’m the hardest gangster rapper since Eazy-E
Jay-Z even wants my autograph, he’s really feeling me
I breakdance like +Turbo+ and +Ozone+ very easily”

Hopefully those who don’t get the old school references to Rudy Ray Moore and the “Breakin'” film will go out and do the research, enjoying the flicks with or without pharmaceutical enhancement. By and large the cinematic scope of this dynamic duo is pure Bluntman and Chronic though, with songs like “Smoke Session” being typical not only of this album but of their career as a whole. Since the weed raps are mostly inoffensive and occasionally have good references and funny punchlines, this album lives or dies by the backing production – and mostly lives to fight another day. Nothing here will strike you as the best beat to a rhyme you’ve ever heard, nor will it make you turn off the album in disgust and use it as a coaster for your bong. “Rhymes and Resin” gets the job done by not trying to be the greatest kush of all time – it’s just another hit (or toke).

Potluck :: Rhymes and Resin
6.5Overall Score