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December 9, 2023

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Stone Crazy (Relativity)

By: Wes Eckmayer

When is the last time a beat album came out? Recently songs have been tailored for the capes of super emcees. But nothing has been made for the beat heads. Y'know, the Group Home cats who cared less if Malachi the Nut Cracker couldn't shape your brain like pottery. Cause they liked the kiln Premier sculpted with. Well, the Beatnuts minus Al Tarik are here. Showing that Animal House meets Queensbridge thug-type lyrics can sound acceptable if the backing track is ill. Expect organs, nice drum beats and great sequencing. JuJu and Psyco Les shine on the tracks and various instrumental interludes. But not always lyrics.

They try to offset the departure of Al Tarik (formerly Cool-ass Fashion) with guests Gab Gacha, Punisher, and Screwball. But none of the guest have the perverted charm formerly Fashion brought. Don't get me wrong, the Nuts still have sophomoric humorous verses ("...Eighteen and over and if your grill is busted, I can't be sober" from Strokes). But Songs like "Thinkin About Cash" will have you thinkin of Fash. The lack of his presence mixed with the guests put this album on a more serious note than the Beatnuts other releases. Amidst the thugery some of the fun is lost.

I'm not saying that it is a bad album. Highlights are the title-track "Stone Crazy" that blurs the line between sampling and straight music. The loan shark anthem "Find that Shit" that will make 50 year old Italian men switch from Sinatra to Psycho Les. The nihilist "Do you Believe?", which has more depth than your average "My rough environment is why I don't give a fuck"-type song. And for the lechers they have "Strokes" and "Heres a Drink". The whole album shines on the soundscape.

So don't bitch about the fact they ain't saying nothing. Be thankful for the beats. Cause dope beats are becoming a rarity. And The Beatnuts level of commitment to the music speaks louder than most lyrical loudmouth troops and their lackluster loops.

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