Mr. Brady in the lab
If you're a fan of linguistics, you really gotta love hip-hop. Rappers are always making up new slang, speaking in coded language to communicate covertly and sound fly in the process. Take the word slump, for example. Slump is an actual word in the English language, of course, describing when you're slouching down or when you're just sucking more than usual.
But slump means something slightly different in the case of Mr. Brady and Moka Only. Having teased a project together as Mr. Mista for years, they finally released The Bug Out EP for free download via Bandcamp. If anything, this is the opposite of a slump, at least for San Diego native Brady, who showcases his best work in a while. But when they say slump or slumper on this album describing their beats, the meaning is closer to you slouching down lazily in your chair. For me, it even seem like a cross between the words slap, bump, and slum.
Which is to say, these beats are dirty and they knock. These beats are boom bap taken to its lowest end and then digging deeper still for an even grimier texture. On the opener "Jive," you can almost hear the deep synth scraping against the bottom, trying to reach for an even lower note even if it might not exist. Likewise, the bass on "That Mr. Mista" thumps underneath a thick layer of filth, expanding and popping like bubbles in a swamp. It reminds me a lot of J Dilla's Ruff Draft EP.
More than anything, this is some of Brady's funnest-sounding work. He's released an abundance of music recently and, on at least two projects this year, there's been a goal to capture the essence of San Diego (Welcome To The City with AbJo and Tacoshophilosophy with Piff PCH). The Bug Out EP doesn't seem to have those same aspirations. The title itself is evidence enough -- this is about two longtime friends having a lot of fun making music and freaking out on their beats. The drums are loose, the rappers looser. Beats drop out schizophrenically. A cacophony of sounds -- from rumbling basses to 8-bit video game death whistles to sonar blips and bleeps -- constantly competes for your attention. This EP slumps and you're gonna wanna dub it on tape and let it slump in your ride too.
Quan Vu Quan Vu is the founder and editor of local music blog sdRAPS.com. He has also written about local and national hip-hop acts for San Diego CityBeat and the San Diego Reader. You can nerd out on rap trivia by becoming BFF's on Facebook or e-mailing him directly.