Words About Music
The Underachievers “The Lords of Flatbush”
Earlier this year, New York hip hop upstarts The Underachievers released the incredibly polarizing and lyrically strange mixtape “Indigoism,” which included a ton of references to the third eye and being an indigo child, which both members of The Underachievers claim to be. It caused a lot of confusion and a little bit of frustration on the internet, but was mostly well received, and for good reason. The Underachievers are a part of the Beast Coast scene, which was started by hip hop prodigy Joey Bada$$ and his Pro Era crew, and also includes the equally talented and underrated Flatbush Zombies. Their shared love for weed, the 90s, and pseudo-spirituality helped gain them tons of traction and fame on the internet, and The Underachievers have since been signed to Flying Lotus’ “Brainfeeder” label.
Now, “Brainfeeder” is known mostly for purveying smooth electronic music and instrumental hip hop, which includes artists like The Gaslamp Killer, Thundercat, Teebs, Lorn, Jeremiah Jae, and FlyLo’s rapping alter-ego Captain Murphy, which puts The Underachievers right at home when you consider how smooth and relaxing “Indigoism” is. However, they decided to switch things up for their sophomore tape “The Lords of Flatbush,” which features production from none other than Lex Luger. Yes, THAT Lex Luger.
Once I heard that the guy who produced Flockavelli would be producing the eight songs on this mixtape, I was a bit concerned. Sure, Lex is extremely versatile and can produce non-trap beats whenever he wants to, but for curiosity’s sake, how would The Underachievers sound under bass-heavy beats? And the answer to that question is “absolutely incredible.” The 22-year old producer brings out the best in Issa Dash and AK, who combat Luger’s heavy beats with equally heavy energy and lyrics. Sure, the “new age third eye” theme is still present in the lyrics, but so are plenty of other topics. It seems like this mixtape is the duo unleashing their inner Flocka.
“The Lords of Flatbush” isn’t a strictly trap album, like I said. It’s just as good as, if not better than “Indigoism.” But, they both incorporate two different sounds, and it just proves that Issa and AK are great at what they do. If you’re a little tired of the “Indigo child” gimmick then you might not enjoy this tape (or The Underachievers at all for that matter) but if you can see past that—I recommend doing so using your third eye—then you will see that this short tape is fun, fascinating, and incredibly well done.
SCORE – 8.5
FAVORITE TRACKS – Leaving Scraps, Flexing, Still Shining, Melody of the Free, Midnight Augusto, N.A.S.A.