Musical collaborations are interesting, with artists teaming up to blend different styles together in hopes that they complement one another. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. And much of that success hinges on a single attribute -- chemistry -- as those different moving parts have to operate in unison to make the magic happen.
Fortunately, that's the space Oceanside rappers Steez76D and Karma occupy on their latest self-titled collaborative album. [Listen/buy it here] They're in sync, tackling a little bit of everything: money, drones, and even social media, all while zoned out over hypnotic beats.
They stargaze, watching out for UFOs on "In the Sky": "I know, they know, we know, that, they, got clones drones and UFOs / But they, just want to take control, but hey, I know, they know, we know." And they riff about the drug trade as a metaphor for "dope" music atop the see-saw motion of "Cocaine In Cancun."
Even though they cover a lot of ground, zig-zagging from topic to topic, their plan of attack works. So it doesn't matter if "In the Sky" is built from anxiety and paranoia or that "Cocaine In Cancun" is an extended exercise in analogy, there's an organic feel to their ideas -- they mesh.
Karma splits duties, not only rapping and holding down the lion's share of production -- but he also showcases his voice, crooning on a few of the hooks via a pitch-perfect sing-song approach.
They tell stories, narrating trips through the streets of North County on "I'll Take You There" and navigate the hand-clap snares of "Get the Money."
"My PayPal sees more transfers than universities / Busy stacking currency / I'm counting cash currently," raps Steez76D before Karma makes known his place of residence and daily activities: "I'm on the westside living / On the West Coast getting / Counting money all day / Yeah, I'm really 'bout my dividends."
Whether it's chasing lights in the night sky or running down their next payday, these two display that hard to find "it" factor -- they click. As a result, the pair deliver a well-rounded effort that doesn't just sound good but one that's also congruent.